A Literary Analysis of Call of the Wild by Jack London

The book Call of the Wild by Jack London is about a dog named Buck and his journey to find his true family. Buck is ripped from his civilized home is sunkissed Santa Clara Valley, California and thrown into the wilderness of the frozen Klondike in Alaska. Many different types of people who were on the quest for wealth bought and used him for pulling sleds.

On the way up north, Buck made and lost many friends. He also learned the law of tooth and fang from the man in the red sweater. In the end of the book, he went into the wilderness to find his true family after hearing the call of the wild. The characters, setting, and plot in the novel The Call of the Wild interact to reveal the theme the power of love is stronger than all other powers.

Buck is the main character and he loves many people. Buck shows his love for John Thorton (his last owner) many times. For example, Buck pulls a sled 100 yards that has a thousand pounds of flour on it because John bet that he could (Page 50). Buck could not have moved the sled if he didn’t love John. Manuel shows his love for money by selling Buck, the family dog.

“He loved to play Chinese lottery” (Page 2). If he didn’t love to play lottery Buck might still live in California. Manuel is the gardener for the family and the first person who sold Buck. Buck shows his love for leadership by fighting with Spitz. “The dominant premortal beast was stong in Buck” (Page 15). If Buck didn’t want to be leader Spitz might still be alive because Buck never fought with anyone unless he had to. Spitz was the leader of the pack until Buck killed him.

The many different settings helped everyone see how Buck was loved. The first setting was California, then the dog seller’s cage; the majority of the time the dogs are kept there on the trip up north, lastly, and most important –the wilderness. The many settings helped develope the theme. First of all, Buck is in Santa Clara Valley. He starts out in civilization and he likes it. Then later he learns to deal with what people give him.

For example, he had to stay in the cages and learn the law of club and fang. when the people slept in tents, Buck had to suffer in the freezing cold. Finally, he found his wolf relatives in the wilderness. He loves the wilderness so much that he leaves all traces of civilization behind. Secondly, the setting where John is in the river drowning Buck shows that he loves him. Buck jumps into the water and risks his life to save John (Page 46). He never would have done that for the judge’s kids, he loved John.

The main plot in the story showed who Buck’s true love was for. There were smaller plots as the story progressed but only one main one. He loved the judge and his kids and John but his real love was for his ancestors. Buck would fetch the newspaper and the judge’s slippers, he gave the kids rides on his back but he also had to leave them and move on. Buck’s life was constantly changing. When he found the place he truly loved everything stopped changing. Other smaller plots showed how the man in the red sweater’s love of power. He would have killed any dog the disobeyed him. He would have killed Buck except that Buck’s love for life was too strong.

There are three main elements in this novel that come together to develop the theme. The first is the characters, the second is the many settings and the third is the plot. The main theme is that people will do anything for someone they love. The author, Jack London shows this theme in many instances throughout the story. All of the main characters in this story loved something. Buck loves the wilderness, Spitz loved being a leader, Jack loved Buck, the man in the red sweater loved power, and other people loved other things. The characters, setting, and plot in the novel The Call of the Wild interact to reveal the theme the power of love is stronger that all other powers.

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