The Call of the Natural World
Mangled throats, empty eye sockets, gushing blood - Jack London's gritty, gruesome story of survival transports the reader to the uncharted Klondike of 1897. The Call of the Wild is an adventure tale of a dog named Buck who was kidnapped from his pampered life in California, taken up north, and sold in the black market. He was trained to become a sled dog and served a number of different masters, some merciful, others cruel. He learned how to live in the frozen north, and eventually left all his masters behind and became a wild dog, surviving without depending on or serving humans.
One of the most striking aspects of The Call of the Wild is that the protagonist is a dog which London endows with human characteristics. His human-like pride and drive for leadership caused him to adapt and conquer, even to the extreme of killing the existing leader of the dog pack Raised as a domestic dog, Buck was out of his element in the raw north, but he was a quick learner and adapted to his surroundings by learning from the other dogs. One example of this is when he immediately learned to dig a hole in the snow and slept there to keep warm just like the experienced dogs in the pack. Throughout the book, Buck hears a “call from the wild”; he has a yearning to go live in the woods, hunt, and howl with the wolves.
There are three main struggles in literature; this book portrays all three. The first is man versus man. Buck, portrayed as a man, becomes involved in a struggle for power with the lead dog, Spitz. They ultimately fight to the death, and Buck wins, taking over as leader of the sled dog team. The second conflict is man versus nature. Throughout Buck's journey, one of his primary struggles was conquering the cold, brutal environment. The third and final conflict is man versus self. Buck had to decide between staying with his master or following the “call of the wild,” his instinctive nature. In the end, his...
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