The Story of Keesh
This story recounts the legend of Keesh, an Eskimo boy who used "brains not brawn" to defeat a powerful polar bear and save his people from starvation.
1. The IntroductionThe story of Keesh is a short story which was written by Jack London that was first published in January of 1904. Keesh was the son of a great huntsman, who was well known and respected in his tribe. Unfortunately, Keesh’s father died when Keesh was very young. As is often the case, the legendary exploits of Keesh’s father was forgotten with time. After many years, the child grows to be thirteen. Inspired by tales of his father’s skills as a hunter, and emboldened by his self-confidence and the lackluster amount of food being gathered by the tribe, he addressed the village elders in the Igloo of the tribe’s chief. A child addressing the tribal elders was seen as precocious. Keesh declared that he would honor his father’s memory and became a great hunter, and bring back a wealth of meat for his people. He was scorned, and they allowed him to go off on his own. Many never expected to hear from him again. Four days later Keesh returned, with an enormous burden of freshly-killed meat over his shoulders. He explained that an entire polar bear’s carcass laid a day’s travel from the village. The villagers were stunned by this boy having endured the elements and succeeded in his quest, became suspicious. After several more hunting excursions on Keesh’s part, all alone and all resulting in enormous amounts of meat for the tribe, the villagers begin whispering that Keesh is undoubtedly practicing witchcraft. However, they had no choice but to be loyal to this manchild, as he had begun to provide them all with bounteous food. Keesh had the appreciative villagers construct for him an enormous Igloo, rivaling that of the chief. After more speculation and Inuendo as to the source of Keesh’s hunting prowess, it was decided to send two scouts to follow him on a hunting exhibition. They returned several days later, having been successful in trailing Keesh to his kill, an enormous (and dangerous) polar bear. They told a tale that the tribal council simply couldn’t believe. Upon his return, the tribe gathered in Keesh’s igloo to accuse him of witchcraft. He answered their charges well. Keesh explained the source of his hunting success. He explained why the two scouts sent to follow him observed him striding up to the bear, enraging it, and convincing it to follow him. He explained why the scouts witnessed his leaving small round balls of food on the ice for the bear, and why the bear soon became ill, and deranged. He explained how he was then able to spear the bear without endangering himself.
b. Character1) KeeshKeesh was a thirteen-year-old boy who lived at the North Pole a long time ago. His father died of sruggling with a bear in order to keep the people in the village from starving. After that, Keesh lived alone with his mother. One council Keesh complained about unfair treatment, but other people laughed at him. Therefore, he decided to hunt by himself. Later on, Keesh used his brain to kill many bears and divided them fairly. In the end, Keesh rose to power and became the leader of his people. Keesh is the major character of this story. He appears throughout the story. He is a round character, we can prove that from the beginning of the story and the ending. At the beginning he is a young boy who is innocence, but at the end of the story he becomes a brave man who is respected by the others. He is protagonist character. He has an important role and he is the central figure in the story.2) Klosh-KwanKlosh-Kwan was the chief of the village who lived in a large igloo. In the beginning, he could not believe Keesh, but he admired him later. He is a deutragonist because in the beginning of the story, he has opposed Keesh but at the end he generously acknowledges what he sees. He is a round character too.3) IkeegaIkeega was Keesh’s mother who lived only with his sole son. She loved his son very much. She is a flat character, because from the beginning until the end she is the same, doesn’t develop. She is a tritagonist because she is a character which is needed as the complement in the story.4) Ugh-GlukUgh-Gluk were opposed Keesh from the beginning until the end of the story. So, Ugh-Gluk is considered as the antagonist and has flat character.5) Bim and BawnBim and Bawn were two clever young hunters who were appointed to spy on Keesh. They told how Keesh killed bears when they came back. They are a tritagonist character because they just appear in some parts of the story and don’t have important role, the are just as complement and flat character.