Throughout the novel The Call of the Wild Buck is thrown into a vast amount of obstacles. Buck is a half Saint Bernard and Half Sheepdog who is stolen from a home in California. He was then sold as a sled dog in the arctic where he would begin his adventure. Buck undergoes many challenges that can be related to human beings. The two experiences that everyone goes through are love and death. According to Jack London in The Call of the Wild, love and death are portrayed as bitter, sweet, and deadly.
Buck is thrown into a brutal world where he fights to survive. Buck meets Curly, a Newfoundland. They become friends on their journey to the north. There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly's face was ripped open from eye to jaw (London 44). After Buck’s friend Curly was killed, Buck vows to not have the same fate. Buck’s first encounter of losing his friend showed him how dangerous his journey will be, where love will leave a bitter feeling in the end.
As Buck’s journey continues, he gets a taste of how sweet and bitter death can be. Dogs and men answer the call of their savage natures and their terrifying environment in a violent, bloody, and continual struggle for survival (Mann 1). The harsh environment creates a sense of survival of the fittest. The men beat the dogs to keep them going to reach their destination. The dogs fight to stay alive and in some cases, fight to be dominant. Buck fights and kills Spitz, who was the lead the dog. Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good (London 99). After killing spitz, Buck assumes the lead position. This shows ho...
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London, Jack. The Call of the Wild and other stories. New York: Macmillan Company, 1903.
Woodward, Servanne. "The Nature of the Beast in Jack London's Fiction." Bestia 1 (May 1989): 61-66. Rpt. in Children's Literature Review. Ed. Tom Burns. Vol. 108. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Tavernier-Courbin, Jacqueline. "Buck as Mythical Hero." "The Call of the Wild": A Naturalistic Response. New York, N.Y.: Twayne Publishers, 1994. 80-95. Rpt. In Children's Literature Review. Ed. Tom Burns. Vol. 108. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Mann, John S. "The Theme of the Double in The Call of the Wild." The Markham Review 8 (Fall 1978): 1-5. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Paula Kepos. Vol. 39. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
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