Call Of The Wild--Themes

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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The Call of the Wild In The Call of the Wild by Jack London, supremacy is the central theme. Supreme is defined as the quality or condition of being and/or having unmatched power or authority. In other words, Buck, after defeating Spitz and accomplishing many other great challenges, has become not only the leader of the pack, but the supreme beast of the land.

First of all, Buck perseveres through many great challenges, from the man in the red sweater to the fight to the death with Spitz. In this fight to the death, Buck fights with instinct, begins to lose, and starts to fight with his head: "Then Buck sprang in and out, but while he was in, shoulder had at last squarely met shoulder. The dark circle became a dot on the moon-flooded snow as Spitz disappeared from view"� (p. 40). Buck fights Spitz with pure aggression and hatred.

He was not thinking clearly though, and began to lose the fight before realizing that if he were to win, he would have to win with brains, not brawn. Buck has few drawbacks and many benefits. He outweighs most sled dogs by forty pounds or more. Also, he is more intelligent than the average dog. For example, when Buck begins to answer the call of the wild, he stalks his prey carefully and quietly until the moment he pounces for the kill. He truly becomes the supreme beast of the land.

Lastly, to further prove the theme of supremacy in The Call of the Wild, Buck is mentioned whipping the team into a lean, mean sledding machine. He takes over and accomplished what Spitz could not, making the team the most efficient that it had ever been: "The rest of the team, however, had grown unruly during the last days of Spitz, and their surprise was great now that Buck preceded to lick them into shape"� (p. 44). Buck believes that since he defeated Spitz, that he deserves the leader spot pulling the sled. He uses his new authority over the team to whip the team into shape, to take them to the next level. He pushes them farther than they have ever gone, turning them into not only a dog team, but a dog machine. This foreshadows Buck becoming the leader of the pack of timber wolves. This is what Buck wanted in his heart, but it was never obtainable because of his loyalty to John Thornton. Now that John is dead and his death avenged, the last tie between Buck and human civilization is cut.

Buck fights his way through many great challenges, and exceeds in every one of them. He is truly, as the Yeehats say, the one who hunts by night, the one who kills without warning, the Ghost Dog.