Love of Life by Jack London

Love of Life - Jack London for Android - APK Download

A gold prospector in the American West sprained his ankle crossing a small river on his way back. Abandoned by his partner, Bill, he searched the wilderness alone. The foot injury made every step very difficult for him, and what was more terrible was the unbearable hunger. In desperation, he divided his treasure equally into two parts, carefully hid one part of it, and trudged on with the other. To his great joy, he found a wounded grouse on his way. He seemed to see hope, and tried to chase the grouse with great pain in his feet. He got lost. Now he had expended quite a lot of energy, so he chose to divide the rest of the sands into two more portions, but this time he poured one of them down on the ground. Before long, he threw away all the sands. When he was very weak, he met a sick wolf. He found the sick wolf following him, licking his blood. In this way, two dying creatures, dragging their dying bodies, hunt each other across the moor. In order to get back alive, at last the man won battle. He killed the wolf and drank its blood and survived.

In Love of Life, London places the protagonist in the treacherous northern frontier environment, facing the harsh reality: hunger and death, so that he understands the power of nature and his own smallness and vulnerability. London, however, has always been reluctant to conform and confine himself to a strictly defined naturalistic framework. He gave the gold prospectors in Love of Life the courage to face the harsh reality, the will to overcome adversity, and the courage to become superhuman to the strong. Therefore, Love of Life should not be a single pure naturalistic work, but an organic combination of naturalism and romanticism, which is the strength of the novel art and one of the real reasons for its enduring popularity. This plot in the novel also reflects the cancer of the human soul in the modern civilized society. Industrial civilization is advancing by leaps and bounds, science and technology are changing with each passing day, and products and consumer goods are greatly enriched, which arouses the infinite expansion of human desire. All the efforts made by people are ultimately aimed at obtaining material wealth and filling their personal desires. When the worship of money and egoism become the values of the civilized world, the relationship between people is only economic interests in the final analysis. In order to pursue the maximization of economic benefits, mutual use, intrigues, intrigues, extortion are common, spiritual degradation, moral decay is inevitable.

-Coreen C.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the Wild: Jack London: 8580001049755: Amazon.com: Books

The work tells the story of Buck, a pet dog of Judge Miller’s family, who has been living in a warm valley in southern California after being civilized. He was sold to the cold, remote, gold-rich northern state of Alaska as a sled dog. The dog who should represent the civilized world as a dog is forced to return to barbarism by his master. Growing up in a greenhouse, Buck was stolen and sold to the wild as a sled dog. The cruel reality touched Buck’s instinct and consciousness of returning to nature due to the long influence of human civilization. Buck was trained by the harsh living conditions, and he grew through them. In the end, he won the first place in the sled dog pack by defeating the king Spitz. When the cruel Hal had beaten Buck black and blue and was almost dead, John Thornton’s rescue made Buck feel warm and decided to pledge his loyalty to his patron to the end. However, the death of the benefactor completely broke Buck’s attachment to human society, so Buck was determined to go to the wilderness and return to nature.

First of all, the image of the dog in the novel is in sharp contrast to the image of the human. Dogs (Buck) are brave, kind, loyal, grateful, highly adaptable, and have excellent leadership skills, while humans are mostly hypocritical and tyrants. Buck was sold to a dog dealer and moved from the comfort of Judge Miller’s home to the rigors of northern life, but he soon adapted to the rules of existence. Even if there were no foreboding in the air, he could dig a hole by a tree or a bank, and hide safely from the strong wind. Buck used the best of management to keep the dogs in order. It pulled up a thousand pounds of flour and won the bet. Humans, on the other hand, still treat dogs with ropes, cages, and sticks. To satisfy their own desires, they do not care about the fate of other creatures. Man thinks he has the right to truth, and he thinks he is the supreme master of the dog. It is just because of a series of selfish behaviors of human beings that lead to the tragic fate of the dogs, and at the same time, human beings also suffer bad consequences. Hal and his family are buried in the White River, and Buck finally returns to the wilderness.

-Coreen C.

Book Review: The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill

Hairy Ape - Kindle edition by O'Neill, Eugene. Literature ...

The Hairy Ape is a classic drama of realism, expressionism and symbolism created by Nobel laureate Eugene O ‘Neill in 1921. The play consists of eight scenes. The work depicts in great detail the psychological process of people at the bottom of society from being happy and blindly optimistic to realizing their pathetic status in the society, reflecting the confusion and pain of laborers who lose their affiliation and find no way out in modern society with rapid industrial development. The author makes extensive use of expressionist dramatic techniques, such as the stream of consciousness, monologue, stage externalization of characters’ inner activities, non-line director’s instructions, etc. It is the foundation work of modern American drama.

The Hairy Ape describes the life of a seafaring worker. On a mail ship crossing the Atlantic, the firemen lived in the crowded forecastle. They were poor, irascible and eccentric. Yank the stoker was the most authoritative of them all. He had no family, no parents, no wife, no children, no relatives or friends. He lived in poverty and worked hard, but he did not worry about unemployment. He was uneducated, simple-minded, and confident in life. He did not feel at the bottom of society at all. He was always at ease, thinking that he was the foundation of the world and represented everything. His partners Paddy and Long disagreed. One day Miss. Mildred the capitalist came on board and called him a dirty beast. Yank’s pride had been hurt, and he was determined to take his revenge. After that, he unleashed his hatred by fighting in the street against a wealthy gentry, and was put in prison by the police. After he gets out, Yank tries to blow up Mildred’s father’s steel company but fails. After several rebuffs, he went to the zoo in great frustration, and poured out his heart to an ape in the cage. He opened the iron door and let the ape out. When he wanted to take revenge with him, the ape grabbed him, broke his ribs, and threw him into a cage. Inside the cage, Yank stood up painfully, looked around in bewilderment, and collapsed like a heap of flesh.

The big mail ship in The Hairy Ape symbolizes both modern life and ancient savage life. The play aims to explore the value of human survival, that is, to explore how people can be regarded as human beings, or how the contradiction between individuals and society can be resolved. The protagonist Yank is a symbol of modern people; he can not find a way out in modern life and wants to go back. But he couldn’t have gone back to his primitive life because he was a modern man after all and couldn’t have lived with a gorilla. In the author’s opinion, modern society makes people lose the essence of human being and makes people lose the universality of nature. In order to survive, people have to seek this kind of consistency. But when they have found it, they are of no avail but perish. The Hairy Ape reveals this embarrassing dilemma of modern people. The image of cages everywhere in the play is a symbol of this dilemma, and it also shows the author’s pessimistic mood about the future of human beings.

-Coreen C.

Film Review: The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Final Poster.jpg

I know it might sound a little bit childish for some of the people out there, but The Secret Life of Pets 2 was definitely a very good movie for me. At least, in my opinion, the addition of more characters added more flavor to the movie as a whole. Not only was it funny, but it also portrayed the theme of family, love, friendship, and loyalty

To start off, family has always been a big thing throughout the two movies. It was first the introduction of Duke, and then Liam the son of the family. By overcoming jealousy and eventually falling in love with the new members of the family, Max has demonstrated what the firstborn of many families have gone through.

And as for love, it would be the next stage of family. For one thing, Max became overprotective over Liam and was unwilling to let him cross the street, run into people and different things, and go to preschool. It was not after when Max himself was trained by Rooster to save the little lamb hanging on a branch did he know how important independence is to a person.

Friendship has always been a big thing for the movie series. From Max saving Hu to Daisy fighting off the wolves, it’s all revolving around friendship. And again, through a series of adventures and dangers, the white tiger cub was saved.

Lastly, what I really wanted to mention in this movie is something people normally don’t pay attention to—the wolves. They might look very evil, malicious, and atrocious, but at the same time, they are very loyal to Sergei no matter what he does to them. I’m pretty sure they could’ve just run away since they weren’t chained anyways. Under the threat of killing them and not giving meals, the wolves still strived to complete their missions and obey every single command Sergei the circus owner gives. This way, I think that they resemble dogs for their loyalty but not amiability.

-Coreen C.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell: 9780440416456 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Black Beauty is gentle, intelligent and strong. His coat is black and shiny. A white speck of fur stands out on his forehead like a beautiful white star. However, fate is difficult, life is fickle, as a horse, he has tasted the sweet and sour people give. Black Beauty, the hero of the novel, is a beautiful and well-bred black horse. He has been living in a noble family since childhood. He has been well trained, docile and clever. But the good times did not last long, the master home had a change, Black Beauty had to be sold. He had been sold many times in a row and met all kinds of people. There are drunks who take their horses to anger when they drink too much wine, cab drivers who whip easily, barbarians who don’t take animals seriously. After tasting all the joys and sorrows of the world, it was lucky to have a good end-result. The work reveals the inner world of the horse, as well as the description of the horse coldly looking on the human society. Black Beauty’s life is the epitome of Victorian horse-riding, wagons in the country and London cabs. When he was a boy, his mother told him that a horse’s fate was all down to luck — he was lucky to have a good master, but unlucky to have an abusive master. As he grew up, Black Beauty met good people and people who mistreated him. He was first sold as a mount to Lord Gordon, who was kind to horses. Then it was sold to the count, and that abominable bridle became his greatest nuisance, and the bane of all horses. Pulling wagons not only consumes a lot of physical energy, but also is whipped by the driver. Black Beauty suffers when he draws a cab because people drive in the wrong way. Finally, Black Beauty finally found a friendly home to spend his old age. In Black Beauty we see many human qualities: honesty, courage, meekness and friendliness. Though Black Beauty has gone through trials and tribulations, it has not changed these qualities. This makes us wonder: what qualities should we have as human beings? Don’t we treat animals so cruelly because we disregard good qualities in them? Black Beauty, through his own eyes, with vivid language, tells a story, to convey such a message to readers. Animals also have feelings and thoughts. Human beings should therefore be kind to animals.

Into the Wild (Warrior Cats) by Erin Hunter

This is the first book to the Warrior Cats series, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It’s about a bunch of wild cats living in the forest that live in packs called Clans, and the battles, and the cats growing up and becoming warriors. The books are really action-packed and fun to read! And after reading this story, I just couldn’t look at house cats the same way ever again!

Anyways, to begin with, there are four Clans in the forest: ThunderClan, ShadowClan, RiverClan, and WindClan. There is also a StarClan, which is like the cats’ heaven. Everything is peaceful, until a mysterious omen arrives:

“Fire Alone Can Save Our Clan…”

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying – and some deaths are more mysterious than others.

And in the midst of this turmoil appears just an ordinary house cat named Rusty… who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

-Katharine L.

Into the Wild by Erin Hunter is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

lifeofpi_yannmartelLife of Pi, by Yann Martel, is perhaps one of the greatest books on philosophy ever written, delving heavily into themes of faith and hope, all while telling the exciting story of a boy and a tiger.

The story goes like this: Piscine Patel is a young Indian boy who lives on a zoo. There, surrounded by animals and the beauty of nature, Pi develops a fascination with religion, exploring and questioning every aspect of it. When his family is shipping the zoo across the ocean, a storm sinks the ship. As the sole survivor, Pi is cast to sea on a lifeboat, with only a Bengal Tiger as his companion. While drifting on the Pacific Ocean, Pi survives and slowly creates his own perception of faith and hope.

From the surface, Life of Pi seems like another tale of adventure and survival, much like Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet. However, I personally think that Yann Martel was more writing about the concept of religion. Even the themes of hope and survival are all linked back to Pi’s faith in God, or Gods.

Right from the beginning of the book, Pi establishes himself as an extremely religious person, becoming a devout Christian, Muslim, and Hindu all at once. When the truth comes out, all of his religious leaders and parents push him to settle on one religion. Pi replies, “‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God” (Martel 69). Whether he is correct in saying this is unimportant, because the purpose is to show the frivolous nature of rivalry between religions. At the same time, he felt that atheists were his “brothers and sisters of a different faith” (28). Of course, when his situation spirals into survival on the ocean, Pi’s faith is shaken, but he finds his own peace with his God.

Life of Pi surpasses an average philosophy textbook because Martel doesn’t monotonously write about philosophical concepts. Instead, he weaves a beautiful story with elements of philosophy introduced alongside Pi’s experiences on the ocean and in his zoo. In this way, the story’s excitement and thoughtfulness work in tandem, each making the other more meaningful.

In conclusion, Life of Pi is a beautifully written book that will leave you questioning your existence without having to endure the boredom of a typical book of philosophy. Perfect!

-Philip X.

Life of Pi is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available digitally from Overdrive.

Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

red_fernI love dogs. I love everything about them. From their furry bodies to their gross slobbery tongues, I love it all.

However, besides loving dogs themselves, I also love a good dog book. The book Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is the perfect dog book, and let me just say this book is life changing. Even if you aren’t a dog lover, or you only really love cats, this book is still life changing, regardless of your animal preference.

The novel follows the life of a young boy and his best friends, his two-coonhound hunting dogs. Together the boy, Billy Coleman, and his two dogs embark on countless fun-filled adventures. However, the story goes beyond the adventure and becomes a coming-of-age novel.

The book will make you laugh, cry, scream, giggle, sigh, and surprise you all at the same time, but in the best possible way. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone. Fortunately, it really isn’t subject to just one age group, like many other classic novels, because it is relatable to so many people on so many different levels. All in all, it is a great book, and probably one of my all-time favorite books.

-Olivia S.

Book Review: Shadow Horse, by Alison Hart, and Its Sequel, Whirlwind

shadow_horseShadow Horse starts out with a teenage girl named Jasmine Schuler, who has to go to a court hearing for juvenile delinquents. She is accused of assaulting Hugh Robicheaux, the owner of High Meadows Farm, where Jas and her grandfather had lived. She attacked Hugh since she knew that he had killed his own horse, contrary to the story that Hugh recounted about how Jas’ grandfather had killed the house.

After proven guilty in the court room, she must now go live with her foster parent, Miss Hahn, for 45 days. And during that time, she must find evidence to prove that Hugh had killed his own horse. In the meantime, she learns to accept living on the run-down Second Chance Farm, and she even finds a horse at an auction. The discovery of this animal drastically influences the mystery.

I thought this first book in the two-book series was pretty good. However, in my opinion, the real action of the series doesn’t start until the second book.

whirlwindIn the second book, Whirlwind, Jas goes to her next hearing. Hugh strangely shows up there and threatens Jas to keep quiet about her suspicions. This second book becomes a lot darker than the first. An investigator is hired to help with the case. Jas’ relationship with a farm volunteer is growing. Also, Hugh has a spy somewhere on the farm, who is reporting everything about Jas to Hugh. But who is the spy? And how will they get to the bottom of the mystery and stay safe in the meantime?

What made this book unique was the unusual circumstance that brought Jas to Second Chance Farm. Who would have ever thought that a girl guilty of assault on a horse farm would spend her probation days at another horse farm? However, had that not happened, Jas would never have had an opportunity to try to solve the mystery. In the end, it was better for her to be on probation, despite the obvious drawbacks of the situation, like curfew hours.

If you love horses or murder mysteries, or a combination of both of these, then you would enjoy this book series. I would recommend these books for younger teens, since they are relatively basic reads. However, they have a good plot, and once the action starts, it is quite a captivating series. I felt it was pretty realistic, especially since the reason behind Hugh’s actions is unfortunately something that could happen in real life. Overall, I really enjoyed reading these books, and would rate them 4 out of 5 stars.

-Leila S., 8th grade

Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

red_fernThis book by Wilson Rawls is about a boy named Billy Colman with his two excellent coon hunting hounds, Little Ann and Old Dan. Billy gets his dogs from a magazine order, and saves enough money by determination and hard work. He always receives tips on hunting from his grandpa. On their first hunt in the river bottoms, the dogs beg for help occasionally. Then Old Dan finds the raccoon scent and heads off with Little Ann at his side. The raccoon pulls a simple trick by swimming across the river. Two hours later the pups has treed their first coon in the tallest sycamore tree in the bottoms. Finally after many hour of chopping the tree, the sycamore falls, and the hounds race off to find and kill the coon.

Near the end of the book, Billy enters a competition for hunting. Billy, his grandpa, and his dad goes to the contest. Before hunting, the judges held a beauty contest, and Billy enters Little Ann. He quickly grooms Little Ann and brings her to the tables. Little Ann wins the beauty contest. At the end of the hunting competition, Billy’s dogs win the contest. But– spoiler alert: there’s a sad ending for these dogs!

This terrific book is truly amazing. I think that the book is great for animal lovers. My opinion about the book is that the story is truly amazing and I bet everyone who reads this story will love it.

-Samantha S., 7th grade