“Call of the Wild” Book Review
By: Sheldon Shepard
What if you were torn away from your home, your life, your family, and everything that was ever familiar to you, and got thrown into harsh, life threatening situations?Would you adapt in order to live and survive or would you be totally enveloped in the chaos and just give up, and become a name unmentioned?In Jack London’s book “Call of the Wild”, we are taught that anyone or thing can be taken from its surroundings and hurled into a world where one has to learn how to survive.Buck, a domesticated dog from Santa Clara Valley is forced into the Yukon because of mans needs for his strength and durability, to pulling a sled. Buck is faced right off the bat with two choices:Endure and adapt to the ruthless, and savage world he is now governed by, or become a name that is forgotten, and unable to pull himself above the water when the rapids come down on him.His life starts to change in a hurry and he must use everything he has got, and adapt in order to obtain what he does not yet posses.Gradually instincts start to replace the rules, and the wild starts to become more friendly than savage.
After bucks horrible trip to a place much different from his home, he has to “learn the ropes” of his new world, and conform to its rules.On his journey the Yukon Buck is stopped in Seattle where he meets a man in a red sweater that taught him the first rope, “The law of the club”; which teaches Buck to obey and fear the dominant race, man.This is to ready Buck for what is to come.Buck is taught his lesson by being beat nearly to dath with a club every time he tried to attack the man in the sweater. Now prepared for what he will face.Buck heads off to the Northland.His first night in the barren Yukon was like any other night there, cold and frozen, and sleeping the same way he did in the Santa Clara Valley was out of the question.After an unsuccessful attempt at entering the tent, he walked all through the camp, finally discovering his fellow companions burrowed into the snow to create a nice, warm nest.“So that’s how they did it, eh?” thought Buck.(pg 18)His adaptation stage was more or less complete when he had mastered the art of stealing food.When his owner wasn’t looking, Buck would steal bacon right out from under his nose.
Bucks mind and soul don’t stop with simply adapting; ancient instincts that his wild ancestors used began to set in quickly.One of the clearest and most easily seen examples is when he chases a snowshoe hare until he catches it.This example may seem normal or just ordinary, but it is clear that there is only one thought on his mind, “To kill with (my) own teeth and wash (my) muzzle to the eyes in warm blood” Soon after Buck shows his willingness.