Jack London: Call of the Wild

Essay by Jordan SheaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 1997

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Can one person fit into three very different categories? In Call of the Wild, by Jack

London, London proves he is an emphatic naturalist. However, his knowledge of the

areas in which the book is set and of the harsh realities of life show that he also appears

to be a regionalist and naturalist.

London's love for nature is obvious in this novel. The settings are miraculously

vivid with descriptions that could not have just been made in his head. He describes

many different areas over a course of twenty-five hundred miles. However, not only is

regionalism London's area of expertise. The way in which he gives life to Buck and all

the other dogs is astonishing. The reader comes to accept the idea that dogs have deep,

meaningful thoughts to go along with their actions. These ideas are directly tied to actual

things that dogs would actually do.

As in the case of Spitz's long lasting and fatal battle

with Buck. The description of the final fight is mesmerizing, London goes inside of both

dogs' heads and gives reasons for all the actions that real dogs would do.

Realism is also a major part of the novel. It is in no way padded with goodness to

leave the reader with a warm sensation in his heart. At times, the way in which beatings

of the dogs are described makes the reader want to close the book. Throughout the book,

Buck is severely abused by humans. Upon being taken from his home to learn to be a

sled dog, Buck is beaten senseless for no reason other that to learn to respect and fear the

man in the red shirt. From this experience Buck learns not to respect, but simply to obey

a man with a club.