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The Call of the Wild
By Jack London
In the novel The Call of the Wild, the reader follows a dog named Buck through his journey
over the Klondike. He experiences a transformation , as he adapts to the cold, the harsh land
the toilsome snow, just to help men find a shiny metal. Buck seems to become a different dog by the end of the book. I will go over what Buck was like, how and why he was forced to adapt to his new environment, and how he changed.
When I first met up with Buck, he was the ruler of his domain, uncontested by any other local dogs. A mix between a St. Bernard and a Scotch Shepherd he carried himself with utmost pride and had everything he could want. Little did he know, he would soon have it all taken away from him. He was taken away from his home and then sold. This was the beginning of a new, cruel life for Buck. On his journey, Buckís pride was severely damaged by men who used tools to restrain him. No matter how many times Buck tried to lunge, he would just be choked into submission. When Buck arrived at his destination, there was snow everywhere and masses of Husky and wolf dogs. Buck was thrown into a pen with a
man who had a club and learned 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 couldnít win.
Buck was sold off to a man who put him in a harness connected to many other dogs and 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, Buck begins to transform into a more primitive, savage dog. Buck was born to lead the team and one dog would do everything possible to beat him. This dog, Spitz, was a white wolf dog who was also a champion. When dogs have a confrontation in the Klondike, the law of Fang prevails. 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. Buck eventually became the best dog to ever roam the Klondike and eventually sent Spitz to his death. Along with the cruelty, he was being starved to death by a gold seeking group who had not brought enough food for the dogs. Beatings were also a regular part of his life, and during one such beating a man named John Thornton came forth and took Buck from his attacker. The man nursed Buck back to health and from that day forward, Buck lived for that man.
Even so, after being with this man for quite some time, Buck started to hear a call from far away. He started paying more and more attention to this call. He went out for days at a time searching for itís source. This call was the call of the wild. He felt the urge to be free from man and catch his own food. One day, Buck finally left for good. He was accepted by a pack of wolves who treated him like a wolf himself. And so the transformation was complete. Buck had changed from a dog, to a beast of nature.
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