love of life《热爱生命》的英文版读后感
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Book title: Love of life, 2010,

Author : Jack London, American, 1876-1916

Background :1907


This book tells a story like this: A gold digger went to west America to look for gold. After having found lots of gold and on the way back home, the protagonist was abandoned by his friend, Bill. As winter was approaching, he traveled alone on the vast expanse of wilderness with a full bag of gold, injured leg, bleeding feet and little food. He was hunger-mad to feed himself with tasteless roots and raw small fish to survive in prairie covered with swamps, hills, streams and other wild animals. Unfortunately, as time went on, he became weaker and weaker. Suddenly, he found a sick wolf was following and licking his blood trail behind. And from then on, the two dying creatures began to hunt each other. To come back home alive, and to defeat the sick wolf, he as a human being threw away all of the gold and other worldly possessions in order to struggle forward the boats on the coast. With unbelievable perseverance and human potential, after several desperate fight, the man finally killed the wolf with teeth and drank its blood. Luckily, on the coast there were some members of a scientific expedition on the whale-ship, and the man was saved by them.


Jack London is a famous American realist writer, he has also been known as the “Father of American proletarian literature.” In the short life, he left to the world a lot of valuable works, like “Call of the Wild,” “Sea Wolf” and “Martin Eden” and etc. which have become classics people familiar with. However, among his numerous works, “Love of Life” is my favorite short story. This work has brought me a lot of inspiration of life, and also has taught me a lot of life philosophy. Jack London wrote: “When life becomes tiresome and painful, death will come to coax you to sleep a deep slumber." Through his works and his own life, Jack London revealed a tragedy that a person in distress can rely on dreams to persist, but once he gets out of the predicament to be successful, the meaning of life becomes an issue. Suffering can make one’s heart strong, and successful can destroy everything.

Cherish life

The background of “Love of Life” is set in the “gold rush” period, which was not wit hout relevance to the author’s experience as gold digger. The novel’s protagonist and his companions started adventure to west America for gold. After an arduous journey, they found gold. But after the celebration, they gradually became anxious, because gold was certainly priceless, but the weight was beyond their load, and even worse, the food ran out.

There is no doubt that they loved gold, otherwise they would not go there. But they loved their lives too. So how to choose if you have to abandon one? Maybe everyone inwardly holds the same view that “while ants are greedy to live yet, human

should cherish life much more”. But it’s hard for them to make decision, because to choose life means to give up hard-earned gold, which was just the reason they were there . Think about it: if you have a full bag of gold on your back in dilemmas, won’t you think that you may be lucky to get out of the plight and won’t you be hesitate to throw gold away? Honestly, I would be hesitate. But it is undeniable that when human life is seriously threatened, any material possessions would be meaningless. People must know when and how to control their own desires.

Life in any sense is the most precious thing and everyone should love life. Jack London's “Love of Life” tells us to cherish life, then you can get the attention of fate. As long as people have faith, there is hope of success. Faced with the challenges of all kinds of adversity, people only dare to insist, fight against the fate, and never give up any chance, ultimately to get the final victory. Money is important to live well, but compared to life it is worthless. Therefore, in order to survive, it is sometimes necessary to give up those worldly possessions and travel light.

Hang on and you will be successful

Another revelation of “Love of Life” is to learn to persevere. Even if there is only a little chance to survive, you should persevere until the final victory. The protagonist survived from extremely worst situation, just reveals that “with strong will, is equivalent to the feet to a pair of wings” (Bailey). Survival is the reward he deserved, but also the gift from fate.

As human beings, we are eager to win merits for ourselves. In my opinion, firstly, the quality of determination to succeed is an important one to have. We often hear people say, “Never give up.” These can be encouraging words and words of determination. A person who believes in them will keep trying to reach his goal no matter how many times he fails. The hero in this novel was distinctively provided with this determination.

On the other hand, after making determination, only patience as well as endurance can help us to succeed in performing great deeds. Some people would give up halfway in the face of what seems to be insurmountable. Men of such a type can hardly expect to succeed. We must take a step-by-step approach to accomplish everything until we get the final result. The reason is very simple: if one attempts to climb a mountain, however high he reaches, he has failed if he does not reach the top. In the case of Si Maqian, without patience and endurance, he could never attain such great achievements. Shortly, as long as the continuous efforts, unremitting struggle, there is no things that cannot be conquered.

To be vigilant in peace time

The most detailed and impressive part of the novel describes that how the protagonist searched for food and fight against hunger. When I read these descriptions, I can even vividly imagine the embarrassment and pain of the man. After he had been saved by scientific men, he was haunted by a fear that the food would not last, so he hoarded lots of bread under his bunk and mattress. Maybe it seemed ridiculous, but

this just reflected that he showed much more respect for the food after suffering hunger.

And I learned that we must be vigilant in peace time and we should also be optimistic towards adversity and difficulties. Luck and misfortune comes in turn. Life is just like the weather outside the window, full of unpredictable thunderstorms and storm wind. To travel through perilous life ocean, we must take preventive measures, so that we are not confused and defeated, when the danger comes suddenly. After experiencing the pain, maybe it is too late to regret. Besides, personally, I learn from the hero to develop the capacity to solve problems and survivability.

Adhere to the moral bottom line

At the beginning of the article, the author mentioned a man named Bill, who was the hero’s friend . But Bill abandoned him when they went through a stream. Eventually, Bill died near to coast, and maybe was eaten by wild wolves beside his gold bag. At the very beginning, I do not like Bill, because he didn’t help the protagonist and went away by himself. To the contrary, in China's fiction or drama, we can always see this plot: two companions in the face of death threats, and the wounded always says with tears in the eyes: “You go, leave me alone .” while the other role will be furious yelled: “I will never leave you alone. Come onto my back.” or “No. I would die with you.” Therefore, in my opinion, friend should be the one who helps me out when I encounter difficulties.

However, after I think twice, I cannot conclude that Bill is a bad man. Firstly, after all, the novel is fiction, and I don’t know what the real life would be like. Maybe in that case Bill's approach represents the vast majority of people’s choice? Secondly, in essence, they both have right to desire survival and exactly they are equal to survive. I begin to suspect whether I am proper to show sympathy to the protagonist and look down upon Bill? What is good and what is evil? Now I really have no idea. But I know exactly that no matter what choice I make, I can’t break the moral bottom line.

The more difficulties we are faced with, the more should we comply with the moral bottom line, as it is the fundamental difference between human and beast. In other words, people should have hope of survival at any time, but never be unethical. When he saw his friend Bill’s bones and gold near coast, he didn’t take the gold and just turned away. Though he knew that Bill deserted him and he hated Bill, he wouldn’t do it. By this way, he tells us that no matter under any circumstances, human should hold the moral bottom line so that society will be more stable and harmonious.

“Love of Life” creates a hopeless situation, in which the protagonist struggled to survive the process. Through the whole process we also see that the original intent of life —— just to be alive. Yes, it is to live. Although it sounds simple, it has been a spiritual pillar to support the hero to struggle. Nowadays, everyone lives in the “Gold Rush”, and everyone will experience all kinds of suffering. In conclusion, we people should cherish life, to be vigilant in peace time, and adhere to the moral bottom line at

any time, and we should also arm ourselves with perseverance and determination to accomplish our dreams. Besides, people need to be passion for life in the real sense, which is also my valuable inspiration after reading “Love of Life”.