The call of the wild

Summary

Buck, a powerful dog, half St. Bernard and half sheepdog, lived on Judge Miller's estate in California's Santa Clara Valley. He led a comfortable life there, but it came to an end when men discovered gold in the Klondike region of Canada. A great demand arose for large and strong dogs to pull sleds. Buck was kidnapped by a gardener on the Miller estate and sold him to dog traders, who taught Buck to obey by beating him with a club and, subsequently, shipping him north to the Klondike.

Arriving in the chilly North, Buck was amazed by the cruelty he saw around him. Buck became the property of Francois and Perrault, two mail carriers who worked for the Canadian government, and began to adjust to life as a sled dog. He recovered the instincts of his wild ancestors. He learned to fight, scavenge for food, and sleep beneath the snow on winter nights. At the same time, he developed a fierce rivalry with Spitz, the lead dog in the team. The two dogs became involved in a major fight. Buck killed Spitz and took his place as the lead dog.

Eventually, Buck passed through a succession of masters but finally he found his best master in John Thornton. Buck's devotion to him was total. But Buck's love for Thornton was mixed with a growing attraction to the wild, and he felt as if he was being called away from civilization and into the wilderness. This feeling grew stronger when he accompanied Thornton and his friends in search of a lost mine hidden deep in the Canadian forest. The expedition turned out to be unsuccessful when the Yeehat Indians attacked and killed the men, including Thornton.

Buck then headed off into the wild, where he became the leader of a pack of wolves. He became a legendary figure, a Ghost Dog, fathering countless cubs and inspiring fear in the Yeehats. But every year he returned to the place where Thornton died, to mourn for his master before returning to his life in the wild.

Setting

The story began in 1897, at the start of the Klondike gold rush. The author used a mimetic setting that influenced character, plot, and theme. The discovery of gold in the Klondikea region in northwestern Canada's Yukon Territory prompted thousands of gold seekers to head for the far north. All of them were desperately in need of dogs to pull sleds across the harsh arctic trails. Buck, a large dog who enjoyed a leisurely life on a California ranch, was stolen and shipped to the Yukon.

Buck lived on Judge Miller's place at Santa Clara Valley. He lived in a spacious estate. Buck was treated as the king of the property. He could roam as he pleased. He was cared for, fed, groomed, and treated like the loved and cherished dog that he was. He had the life of a pampered dog who could hunt, eat, sleep, or play as he wished. He had everything he could possibly want. The transformation from civilized to the extreme wild was hard. But Buck learned to survive in this cruel environment. He began to discover the primitive instincts of his ancestors, and in time he responded to the call of the wild.

The Call of the Wild was neatly divided into two regions, the Southland and the Northland. These represent civilization and the wild. In the South, Buck lived a domesticated and stable life. But when Buck arrived in the North, he realized that survival is all that matters. The biggest difference between the North and the South was climate. The South was warm, food was provided, and people enjoyed their leisure. The North was harsh, harmful if one was not prepared, and people needed to work hard and suffer much to survive.

Character Descriptions

In The Call of the Wild, the protagonist of the story was Buck. The antagonist of the story was Spitz. The author used physical description and actions to reveal the main character. London described Buck as strong, heavy, and furry. Buck's actions revealed his loyal, gentle side as well as his vicious, wild side. London was careful to emphasize the human qualities of his protagonist, enabling the reader to empathize with the animal. Buck may be a dog, but was more human than many of the people around him.

Throughout the book, Buck went through a major change. Buck's description started off as strong, muscular but also "owner" of a great property. Buck was neither a house dog nor a kennel dog. He had a fair pride in himself and was only a bit egoistic. Buck lived a calm, peaceful life with a family that loved him. But when he had to face a different environment, he knew that his life was one basic survival. He became more and more drawn to the wild. He discovered the thrill of the blood hunt. Buck's character changed to a fierce, raging animal. Finally, Buck made a complete transformation to a wild king of the Alaskan wilderness.

Buck's character was not complex but simple. He was just like any other dog. He was not really individualized. He was more of a stock type dog. All the dogs in their team were heavy, with strong muscles which helped them to work hard. Their furry coats helped them to guard them from the chilly weather. Most importantly, they were all prepared to survive in tough weather conditions.

Plot Analysis

Half St. Bernard, half Scotch shepherd, Buck was a dog living at Judge Miller's ranch in Santa Clara Valley. Buck had the opportunity to rule over the property. He was born at the estate and lived there for four years. He was the favorite of all. His owner loved him. For four years he lived a perfect life. He was a pampered dog but not for long.

Buck was stolen by Manuel, a gardener on the Miller estate, and sold to dog traders. Buck was sold as a sled dog. He learned that a new law applies to life, which was quite different from the "law of love and fellowship" he had known before. London called this the "law of club and fang," a phrase that describes the survival of the fittest. After a tough experience of learning how to survive in the wild, Buck's spirit was beaten, but not broken. He learned to adapt to his changing environment. Buck was passed down, and got a chance to experience all kinds of owners. His last owner was a man named John Thornton.

John and Buck develop a very close relationship. John, his friends, and Buck went on an expedition to find a lost mine. But unfortunately, the story came to an end when the Yeehat Indians killed John and his friends. As a result, Buck set off to the wild, becoming the leader of a pack of wolves. But Buck came every year to the place where his beloved master was killed to remember the wonderful time spent together. The call of the wild had been heard, and it had been answered magnificently.

Critique

I enjoyed reading this book. It was a pleasure reading The Call of the Wild because it was a great adventure story. I also liked how the author Jack London depicted the relationship between dog and man. He described how Buck felt towards all of his owners. London went into more detail about Buck and John Thornton's relationship by describing how they were dedicated to each other. I appreciated reading this book because it made me make an imagination of my own. I was able to enjoy this book because of its moving emotions.

The author held my interest by doing a good job of using imagery to enhance the book. I believe the plot of the book itself was what made it a classic but the imagery and diction London chose to use made it just more interesting. The way London described Buck's emotions, thoughts, and feelings kept my interest in the book. My favorite scene was when Buck finally went into the wild because it made me wonder what would happen next. I would have not made any changes in this novel because it was already perfected by Jack London.

From this book I learned about the special relationship between man and mammal. I learned to never give up even in the hardest conditions of your life. If you make any mistakes, you should not weaken, but you should learn from your mistakes and make yourself stronger and unbreakable. I would recommend this book to people who like reading adventure and wilderness books. I believe that this book should be used with students in the future. Instead of a book report, I believe the students should make a comic book which summarizes the story.

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