The Call of the Wold

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Option 1. Explain the meaning of the following quotation: “And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways, he remembered back to the youth of the breed, to the time the wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down. …Thus, as token of what a puppet thing life is, the ancient song surged through him and he came into his own again” (18).

Option 2. In the following quotation, explain what Jack London mean by “the dominant primordial beast”? “A pause seemed to fall. Every animal was motionless as though turned to stone. Only Spitz quivered and bristled as he staggered back and forth, snarling with horrible menace, as though to frighten off impending death. Then Buck sprang in and out; but while he was in, shoulder had at last squarely met shoulder. The dark circle became a dot on the moon-flooded snow as Spitz disappeared from view. Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good” (31).

Option 3. Explain the meaning of the following quotation: “[Each] day mankind and the claims of mankind slipped farther from him. Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire, and to plunge into the forest … But as often as he gained the soft unbroken earth and the green shade, the love of John Thornton drew him back to the fire again” (57).

Option 4. Look below at the epigraph (lines of poetry at the beginning of the novel) written in the poem "Atavism" by John Myers O’Hara. Explain how the epigraph serves to highlight the themes and spirit of this novel. How does Buck’s journey reflect these words?

"Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom's chain;
Again from its brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strain."

* Page numbers for quotations...
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