In today’s idiom post we are going to be examining the meaning and origin of the phrase “the law of the jungle.” This phrase has many variations which you have no doubt been exposed to, but they all essentially boil down to the idea that one must learn to become self reliant to accomplish their established goals.
Idiom-The Law of the Jungle
Definition: A system or way of life where only the strongest or most cunning survives. It can also mean the state of self-interest or ruthlessness.
Example: The law of the jungle applies in the Hunger Games trilogy.
Origin: The origin of the phrase “law of the jungle” came from a poem by the late English short story writer, poet, and novelist, Rudyard Kipling. The phrase specifically originated from chapter two of Kipling’s The Second Jungle Book. It featured the laws of the jungle or the codes used by the wolves, and then taught to their offspring. The phrase was mentioned in the first line of the poem, “”NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky; and the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.” It has been said that Kipling, and subsequently the poem, was largely influenced by social Darwinists who religiously implemented Darwin’s idea of the natural concept.
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