The novel Call of the Wild by Jack London chronicles the journey of a dog named Buck who is kidnapped, shipped up to the Klondike, and used as a sled dog during the Alaskan gold Rush. The grisly conditions and substandard treatment that Buck must endure during this trying ordeal greatly contrasts to the life of luxury that he had grown accustomed to while living in luxury on a manor in Santa Clara, California. This drastic change of environment forces Buck make a choice between being invariable in his ways and facing a harsh death, or adapting to his surroundings to ensure survival. As conditions get more and more severe, Buck decides upon the latter, and begins to adjust by inheriting the survival skills of his ancestors. The character Buck in London’s Call of the Wild is the embodiment of Charles Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” by illustrating the transformation from a civilized house dog to a savage canine.
Originally from Santa Clara, California on the manor of a renowned Judge and his children, Buck was granted with the fortune of being reared by a loving family that coddled him and provided him with the best of the best. This all changed when he was kidnapped by one of the manor workers and sold to dog traders. The men attempt to tame Buck by introducing him to “the club” and savagely beating him with it when he gets out of line. It is this act of violence that alerts Buck of the cold reality of the situation that he is in.
Once he is fully aware of the gravity of the matter at hand, Buck’s primitive methods of survival are awakened, and he becomes in tune with the “call of the wild.” This transition from a tame house dog t...
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The importance of “relentlessness” in regards to endurance is made apparent throughout Buck’s run with Francois and Perrault’s sled crew. At first, the canine is clumsy and uncoordinated, but he soon understands that in order to remain part of the team, he must pull his own weight. As a result, he works hard to improve himself physically, mentally, and emotionally. After a while, the combination of sheer fortitude and primitive skill pay off immensely, and Buck soon finds himself among the most valuable of the sled dogs. This alpha position, the dog realizes, is part of his ancient call. A position of dominance in this environment would give him an advantage over all the other dogs.
It is not long before Buck realizes that he is not the only alpha dog of the pack. Another canine, Spitz, is standing in the way between Buck and the team leader.
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