The Call of the Wild
In the novel, The Call of the Wild, the author, Jack London, uses power in order to convey his theme of ancestral memory and primitive instinct to the reader. Throughout the novel, the protagonist, a large Saint Bernard named Buck, tries to find his place at the top of his community. London uses The Call of the Wild to display how people, or animals, want to dominate. From the beginning of the story when Buck is put into a group of mail running dogs, he is trying to come out on top. Buck was born into a wealthy family, and instead of being of use to his family, he was just a pet who controlled all of the other dogs on the settlement. Once Buck is brought into the wild, he is not taught how to be fierce, instead it is suggested that Buck recovers his primitive instincts from his ancestors. London manipulates Buck, and his setting in the cold north to show how we all have primitive instinct, and sometimes it needs to be used. This book also presents that sometimes when ties to humanity are cut, so is your humanity, and it causes you to lose control. Bucks civilized life begins to crumble even before he is sent to the great north, when his gardener needs money. Blinded by his pampered life, he does not realize that things start to change. When Buck is brought to his first owner, and is beaten, he realizes for the first time that human beings can be the enemy. “He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken. He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned the lesson, and in all his afterlife he never forgot it. That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law, and he met the introduction halfway. The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect and, while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused” (8). Each time Buck is clubbed, he jumps up at his attacker until he is finally knocked unconscious by the man with the club....
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