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Call of the Wild

By hyad18 Apr 11, 2013 938 Words
February 12, 2013 PLOT 7.2 Call of the Wild essay A plot of a story includes the introduction, rising actions, climax, and falling action. The plot gives a story structure and helps keep the story organized. If an author were to write down random thoughts without any type of plot, the reader could get lost in the story, and the book would not make sense to the reader. An introduction describes where the story takes place, when it takes place, and introduces the characters. The introduction of the story “Call of the Wild” by Jack London sets the story in the late 1890s in California. The main character, Buck, a half St. Bernard and half Scotch shepherd dog, lived in a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley also known as Judge Miller’s place. “It stood back from the road, half hidden among the trees, through which glimpses could be caught of the wide cool veranda that ran around its four sides. The house was approached by graveled driveways which wound about through wide-spreading lawns and under the interlacing boughs of tall poplars.” (1) The author describes Buck as neither house-dog nor kennel-dog. “Nevertheless, one hundred and forty pounds, to which was added the dignity that comes of good living and universal respect, enabled him to carry himself in right royal fashion. During the four years of his puppyhood he had lived the life of a sated aristocrat; he had a fine pride in himself, was ever a trifle egotistical, as country gentlemen sometimes become because of their insular situation.” A rising action is a series of events that lead to the climax of the story, sometimes the conflicts or struggles of the protagonist. One of the first episodes in which the rising action took place was after Buck had been kept in a cage for two days without food or water and was taunted and made fun of. When he was finally released, a “red-eyed devil” was what came out of the cage. “As he drew himself together for the spring, hair bristling, mouth foaming, a mad glitter in his blood-shot eyes. Straight at the man he launched his one hundred and forty pounds of fury, surcharged with the pent passion of two days and nights.”(5) At this point, he was first introduced to the law of the club. “He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned his lesson, and in all his life he never forgot it.”(6) The next episode of rising action was Buck’s battle with longtime enemy, Spitz. However, Buck’s friend, Curly, was Spitz’s first victim. “There was no warning, only a leap in a flash, a clip of teeth, a leap out, and Curly’s face was ripped open from eye to jaw.” (9) Buck was torn when he realized Curly was dead, and this pushed him into action. “It was inevitable that the clash for leadership should come. Buck wanted it.” Eventually, the perfect time did come. “In a flash Buck knew it. The time had come. It was to the death.” (23) The two dogs engaged in a fierce and bloody battle, and at one point, Buck appeared to have lost the fight. “Spitz was untouched. Buck was streaming with blood and panting hard. The fight was growing desperate.”(24) “But Buck possessed a quality that made for greatness- imagination. He fought by instinct, but he could fight by head as well.”(24) “Spitz struggled madly to keep up. He saw the silent circle, with gleaming eyes, lolling tongues, and silvery breaths drifting upward, closing in upon him as he had seen similar circles close upon beaten antagonists in the past. Only this time he was the one who was beaten.”(24) After seeing Spitz rule by winning so many other battles, “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.”(24) The rise in action in the novel continued with Buck saving his new handler, John Thornton, from dangerous situations, with the climax in action being the bloody killing of John Thornton by Yeehats. The climax is a moment of great intensity in the plot of a literary work. The climax of this story occurred when Buck finds that the Yeehats had killed the people living in the village, including John Thornton. “For the last time in his life he allowed passion to usurp cunning and reason, and it was because of his great love for John Thornton that he lost his head.”(60) “And truly Buck was the Fiend incarnate, raging at their heels and dragging them down like deer as they raced through the trees.”(60) Buck had reached the point where man could no longer threaten him. “The last tie was broken. Man and the claims of man no longer bound him.”(61) The falling action is the part of a plot that occurs after the climax has been reached and the conflict has been resolved. The falling action in “Call of the Wild” involves what the Yeehats called “Ghost Dog”. “And here may well end the story of Buck.”(62) “The Yeehats tell of a Ghost Dog that runs at the head of the pack. They are afraid of this Ghost Dog, for it has cunning greater than they, stealing from their camps fierce winters, robbing their traps, slaying their dogs, and defying their bravest hunters.”(62)

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