The Call of the Wild



Spitz is the canine antagonist of the novel. He is the initial leader of the first sled team, and he and Buck begin with animosity toward one another. Spitz seems to enjoy it when the huskies attack and kill Buck’s friend, Curly, which causes Buck immediately to dislike him. Furthermore, as Spike’s character develops throughout the novel, the reader grows to dislike him, as well. He is driven by the same need to survive as Buck. However, while Buck strives to be a leader, he is different from Spitz. He embraces savagery, but not cruelty. This is a crucial distinction and is one of the reasons that Spitz plays an important role in the novel: to help London demonstrate that there is a difference between being savage and being brutal. Thus, Spitz is in the novel to provide a counterpoint to Buck. Spitz is an example of power that is misused, while Buck does not abuse his power.

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Essays About The Call of the Wild