The novel Call of The Wild by Jack London is about the dog Buck who is half St. Bernard and half sheepdog. Buck enjoys a relaxed lifestyle at his home in California until he is stolen and shipped to the Klondike region in Canada. Here he is put to work as a sled dog where he must battle the bad conditions, other dogs, and the cruelty of the wild to stay alive. One theme that can be seen over the course of the book is the difference between civilization and the wilderness. For example in civilization there are set rules that people must abide and these set rules makes everyone equal. However, Buck quickly learns that in the law of club and fang govern the wild. These means that the strongest people/dogs controls the weaker ones. In order for Buck to survive he must adapt to the ways of the wild in order to survive.
Throughout the story, Buck develops many adaptations to the arctic environment, including those from his primordial ancestors. Buck as well as the other dogs are forced to form new routines and adapt to their environment in order to survive. Buck starts to become more primitive than civilized as the story progresses, for he begins to develop things that he had never possessed back when he lived in his more civilized domain with Judge Miller. In The Call of the Wild by Jack London, characters go through changes in the environment, routine and lifestyle, which results in the growth of their physical and mental strength, as well as their aptness to adapt and survive.
Buck meets the man in the red sweater in chapter one and is instantly shown his place. The author shows us into the mind of Buck after he is severely beaten by the man with a club, “The club was his revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law…the lesson was driven home to Buck: a man with a club was a lawgiver, a master to be obeyed…” (London, Pg. 6). Subsequently Buck is let out to roam with the other dogs. He sees that these dogs, or more specifically Spritz, are not to be provoked. One wrong move and he would wind up like Curly; an amicable dog that was ripped apart because she didn’t know the rules. These events are referenced throughout the book as the law of club and fang, and it is this that begins an awakening into his wild nature. After a while Buck adds another lesson to the law. Coming home after hunting he finds Indians had shot and murdered the humans he was staying with. Buck converts into a raging monster, full of hatred for these strange men who executed his mast, and kills every one of them, although they had arrows. He was so proud; he had killed the noblest game of all however, he learned an important lesson, “he would be unafraid of them [humans] except when they bore in their hands their arrows, spears, and clubs.” (London, Pg.
In doing so, he creates a character that acts like an animal, but thinks like a man. His humanity is what allows him to survive under the rule of man. He understands his role as being inferior to man, but superior to the other dogs. Buck learns that the men and dogs around him “knew no law but the law of club and fang” (London 15). Therefore, Buck adapts and abides by this law, creating a place for himself in the social hierarchy of the Northland. “The ability to keep his mental strength, even when his physical energy was sapped, is one thing that separates Buck from the other dogs” (Kumin 103). Although all dogs are the heroes in The Call of the Wild, Buck connects the most with the reader. As the story is told through his perspective, the reader empathizes with Buck more than the other dogs. The mental strength that Kumin references in the above quote stems from Buck’s human characteristics. Buck is a character that exemplifies the traits of all men, including Jack London himself. His human spirit makes this connection possible, and creates a bond between Buck and the
In the intriguing classic, The Call of the Wild, Jack London writes in anthropomorphism telling the bare truth that survivors are those who adapt to changing circumstances during the Klondike Gold Rush. As the book evolves Buck matures and does have to adapt from his old ways so that he can survive. In the beginning Buck was a pampered half St. Bernard and half Scottish mix from Santa Clara Valley and quickly learns that sled dogs have to fight to survive. When Buck watches his fellow companion Curly die because another husky rips her to pieces he learns the “law of the club.” Also, Buck starts developing his dog instincts as he sacrifices his life for his owner John Thornton.
One of Buck's Internal Conflict is choosing between a master or a wolf pack(love of John Thornton and the Call of the wild).
In chapter one Buck iis kidnapped and sold. When Buck is brought to the man in the red sweater he is beaten. "In mid-air, just as his jaws were about to close on the man, he received a shock that checked his body and brought his teeth together with an agonizing clip. He whirled over, fetching the ground on his back and side. He had never been struck by a club in his life, and did not understand." London states. When Buck is beaten he learns a valuable lesson. He learns the law of club and fang. He learns to fight the fights he
The book Call of the Wild was an awesome book. Not only did we read the book, we watched a movie that was slightly different but it still caught me up on a lot I didn’t understand. The best part in the book to me was when Buck found John Thornton, but with a good book there has to be a not so good part, and that would be when John Thornton died. Not only did I want to cry I wanted to scream! Buck was one kind of a dog; he was taken from where he did nothing, to where he now did just about everything.
In addition to helping him survive in the tough frozen landscape, Buck’s wild instinct and ancestral memory also help him to forget his old civilized life that makes him soft. After Buck is rescued by John Thornton, his wild instinct and ancestral memory are aroused further, so “that each day mankind and the claims of mankind [slip] farther from him” (44). At this point in the novel, it is revealed that the civilized Buck has fully succumbed to his nature and his life is greatly controlled by his ancestors. This happened because at one point Buck could no longer survive if he didn’t forget his civilized life and give in to his ancestral memory and primeval instinct. Therefore his ancestors are a part of him, dictating his moods and directing his actions, urging him to forget his life with the humans and join them in the forest. They do this by showing Buck visions, visions of what his life could be like in the forest. These dreams are what are Buck’s motivation to find the call of the wild, and they are what finally led him to find join his wolf brothers later in the
Although Buck loved Thornton very much he had been experiencing a growing call for the wild. He had been torn between his loyalty to Thornton and his curiosity about the wild. When Thornton died, Buck ran to the wild and his natural instincts began to come to him as he quickly learned to survive alone. After living in the wild Buck is happy, but he still shows his love and loyalty to Thornton with a return visit, to the sight of his death, each
The message Jack London conveys in “The Call of the Wild” is the supremacy of the wild over the artifice of human-made conventions. This is seen through the evolution of the book’s central character, Buck, as he is stolen away from the human-made convention of a man-pet relationship and into the deep wild of the Yukon wilderness on both a figurative and geographic sense. Along this journey, as he is passed from one human owner to another, Buck encounters the invaluable laws of the wild: primitivism, efforts toward survival, and the value of being the fittest of his species. He learns loyalty can be a prized commodity in surviving the unknown, and he learns the ultimate lesson of the supremacy of the wild, as seen at the end
London writes that until Buck’s kidnapping he had lived a life fit for a king. He was a loyal pet treated with respect and love. When Buck was kidnapped and sold into a sled dog team it was clear he was far out of his element. “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” (12). In this quote from the book, London depicts Buck learning that if he was to be
The one man Buck connected with, John Thornton, protected Buck and took care of him. Also London’s stepfather, John London, became one of the few constants in his life. London felt close with his stepfather ultimately connecting his stepfather with the character John Thornton.
While making this trek, he befriends a female dog named Curly who is described as a “good natured Newfoundland.” Shorty afterward, Curly “in her friendly way, made advances to a husky dog the size of a full-grown wolf...There was no warning, only a leap and in like a flash...Curly’s face was ripped open from eye to jaw.” Thereafter, a pack of wolves attacked Curly, and her attempts to fend them off served futile. The dog’s gruesome death haunts Buck in the beginning and reminds him that this rugged new environment, as well as the other creatures that inhabit it, are rugged and unforgiving. As London clarifies “The scene often came back to Buck to trouble him in his sleep. So that was the way. No fairplay. Once down, that was the end of you.” In order to ensure survival, Buck realizes he must be keen of his surroundings, wary, and