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The Fight for Survival
Since the beginning of time, life has always revolved around conflict.The same can be said about literature, where conflict is a necessity for a great story. Buck, a Scotch shepherd/Saint Bernard mix, the main character in Jack London’s book, The Call of the Wild, faces many conflicts in the forms of man versus man or other dogs, man versus nature, and man versus himself. Throughout the book, Buck finds himself in conflict with man and other dogs. An example of this happens while Buck is in San Francisco waiting to be transported to Alaska. There, he meets the man in the red sweater. Buck is about to be let out of his crate, and most of the other men back away, but not the man in the red sweater. The crate opens and Buck launches himself at the man, ignorant of the fact that the man has a club. As he leaps for the man’s throat, he “[receives] a shock that [checks] his body...with an agonizing clip”(11). Buck charges “a dozen times... and as often the club [breaks] the charge and [smashes] him down”(11). From this turning point in the story, Buck learns a law that will benefit him in the future, the Law of the Club. This law tells him that a man with a club is a man to be obeyed. Also, the beating foreshadows the rough time ahead of him in Alaska. Another major conflict that Buck encounters is his struggle for dominance with another dog. When Buck first meets Spitz, the leader of the team that Buck works for, he takes an instant disliking to him. Spitz wants to fight to the death with Buck. However, Buck is more cunning than Spitz and tries to find a better opportunity to confront him, away from humans. The two have many minor disputes, but the major battle does not take place until Spitz thwarts Buck in his pursuit of a rabbit. The fight takes place far away from camp with a pack of ferocious, wild huskies surrounding the battle, waiting to spring on the first dog to lose his feet. It has all the implications of a fight to the death. They...
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