The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild
Overview
Themes
Main Characters
Set primarily in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild follows the experiences of Buck, a St. Bernard and sheepdog mix, as he is kidnapped from his easy domesticated life and forced to work as a sled dog. As he adjusts to his ever-changing situation, Buck survives by tapping into his primitive, wild side.
Law & Order
As Buck's situation changes, he encounters different rules by which he must live.
Civilization vs. the Wild
Buck's journey from domesticity to embracing his more primitive self is a central tension.
Belonging
Buck's relationships with humans and other dogs shape his ability to fit into their worlds.
Knowledge & Power
Both instinctive and learned knowledge help Buck gain dominance.
Spitz
Leader of the dogsled team until Buck masters him
Dave
Gritty dog; teaches Buck about being part of dogsled team
Mercedes
Hal's helpless, selfish sister
Curly
Female dog killed for being too friendly
John thronton
Rescues Buck from Hal's mistreatment
Hal
Young gold prospector,Buck's harsh master
Buck
Kidnapped from domestic ease; discovers his wild side in the Klondike
Numbering
Author
1897
Year London set off for the Yukon
14
Age when London quit school and left his California home for adventure
$750
Amount the Saturday Evening Post originally paid for the story
10,000
Books in the first printing, which immediately sold out
Motifs
Violence
Beatings, killings, and fighting for mastery irrevocably change Buck's life after his kidnapping.
Visions
Buck's visions open a window to a more primitive time, in which both humans and dogs were less domesticated.
JACK LONDON 1876-1916
London was one of the most prolific, popular, and romanticized writers of his time. The Call of the Wild was based on his experiences as a prospector in the Yukon. An instant favorite, it garnered London lasting fame and was followed by many other novels, including the adventure tale White Fang.
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