Throughout the novel The Call of the Wild, we follow a dog named Buck
through his journey through the Klondike. We experience a
transformation in him, as he adapts to the cold, harsh land where he is
forced to toil in the snow, just to help men find a shiny metal. Buck
seems to almost transform into a different dog by the end of the book.
In this essay, I will go over what Buck was like, how and why he was
forced to adapt to his new environment, and what he changed into.
When we first met up with Buck, he lived in the Santa Clara Valley, on
Judge Millerís property. He was the ruler of his domain, uncontested by
any other local dogs. he was a mix between a St. Bernard and a Scotch
Shepherd dog. He weighed one hundred and forty pounds, and he carried
every one with utmost pride. Buck had everything he could want. Little
did he know, he would soon have it all taken away from him. One night,
while the judge was away at a raisin growerís committee meeting, the
gardener, Manuel, took Buck away from his home. Buck was then sold, and
thrown in a baggage car. This would be the beginning of a new, cruel
life for Buck. On his ride to wherever he was going, Buckís pride was
severely damaged, if not completely wiped out by men who used tools to
restrain him. No matter how many times Buck tried to lunge, he would
just be choked into submission at the end. When Buck arrived at his
destination, there was snow everywhere, not to mention the masses of
Husky and wolf dogs. Buck was thrown into a pen with a man who had a
club. This is where Buck would learn one of the two most important laws
that a dog could know in the Klondike. The law of club is quite simple,
if there is a man with a club, a dog would be better off not to
challenge that man. Buck learned this law after he was beaten half to
death by the man who had the club. no matter what he tried, he just
couldn\'t win.
Buck was sold off to a man who put him in a harness connected to many
other dogs. Buck was bad at first, but eventually, he learned the way of
trace and trail. Buck had to learn many things if he was to survive in
this frigid land. He had to learn to sleep under the snow, and to eat
his food as fast as possible so as not to have it stolen. At about this
point in the book, we see Buck start to go through a metamorphosis of
sorts. He transforms from a house dog to a more primitive, savage
version of his former self. It was as if hundreds of years of knowledge,
learned by his ancestors, were dug up and brought out. Buck proceeded to
lose all the fat in his body and replace it with muscle. Buck was no
longer Judge Millerís pet. He was a machine of survival and triumph.
Most Southland dogs like him ended up dead because of their inability to
conform. Buck was born to lead the team, but one dog would do everything
possible to try and keep him down. This dogís name was Spitz. Spitz was
a white wolf dog who was a proven champion in confrontation and was as
crafty as they come. It was clear that he and Buck would not work well
together. When dogs have confrontation in the Klondike, only one
survives. This was because of a law called fang. The law of Fang is such
that, when two dogs fight and one is knocked to the ground, that is it.
The rest of the spectators will instantly pounce on the downed dog and
make quick work of it.
All of these unspoken rules had turned Buck into the Best dog to ever
roam the Klondike. Buck did eventually fight Spitz and send him to his
death. After all of the transformations and cruelty he had been through,
you would think that Buck would never be able to trust another human. He
was being starved to death by a gold seeking group who had not brought
enough food for the dogs. When Buck could finally not move another step,
a man from the group started to beat Buck. As the blows grew less and
less painful, and he was fading farther and farther, Buck knew he