What Is a Summary of “Love of Life” by Jack London?

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Jack London’s short story, “Love of Life” is about two gold prospectors, Bill and an unnamed man, who are struggling to survive on the frozen tundra of Canada. They cross the tundra looking for food, all the while suffering from starvation and exposure to the elements. When the unnamed man sprains his ankle, Bill abandons him and proceeds through the wilderness, his will to survive put to the test.

The tables are turned in the story when it appears that Bill has been killed by the elements, having carried his sack of gold with him until the very end. The man who sprained his ankle comes upon him in the wilderness, but neglects to take the gold with him. He ultimately resorts to crawling across the tundra, devoid of any weapons. After surviving a wolf attack, he is discovered, semi-conscious, by a group of explorers traveling by ship. He recovers while on the ship, and is brought back to health.

This is a story of survival at its most pure. It is an exploration of a man’s will to survive. London tells the story in great detail, recounting moments of fear, anguish and raw hunger endured by his protagonists.