The Call of the Wild' Theme Essay

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The novel The Call of the Wild, written by Jack London, begins with a portrayal of Buck's happy life. He resides in the Santa Clara Valley with his owner, Judge Miller, but difficulties arose for the innocent dog when gold was discovered up north. Buck, a muscular dog, was in high demand among gold-rushers. Buck was walking through an orchard near his house one day when he was kidnapped. He'd learned to trust individuals who understood more than he did, however, this time the human's motives were nefarious. He was battered and forced on a railway car bound for Seattle for two days and nights the next thing he knew. When Buck was dragged out of his cage, his kidnappers starved him and forbade him water. Unfortunately, Buck's handler, who is dressed in a red sweater and equipped with a club, strikes the hapless dog. As his handler strikes him, Buck learns about primitive law in this way. Buck is fed and watered by the handler, who subsequently sells him to an officer with the Canadian government named Perrault.

Buck arrives at the dreadful Dyea Beach in the next chapter. There are brutes among the dogs and men. Buck witnesses the death of Curly, a dog who was transported with him, at the hands of other cruel dogs. It astonishes him, and this is his first lesson in Club and Fang law. Francois collaborates with Perrault and assigns Buck to his first task: lugging firewood. Buck is a quick learner as a sled dog. Perrault had then purchased another dog when they returned to Dyea Beach. Sol-leks is the name of the dog who only has one eye. Buck will have to sleep outside in the freezing winter air that night. Another dog, Dave, teaches him how to dig a hole to sleep in that will keep him warm. Buck goes backward in time.  He seems more like a wolf than a dog.

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The third chapter begins with a depiction of Spitz and Buck's antagonism. Buck is bullied by Spitz because he perceives him as a challenge to his authority. The sled crew set up camp on Lake Lebarge, which was a terrible location with few places to hide from the weather. Buck luckily discovered an overhang, which he used to retrieve his supplies at dinnertime. When Buck returns, he catches Spitz lying there, hissing to protect the spawn. Their quarrel escalates into a full-fledged brawl, but the rest of the team is attacked by a group of rogue huskies. The huskies gnaw on whatever they can get their teeth on. They ate parts of Francois and moccasins. After a ferocious battle, the huskies flee. During the struggle, all of the sled dogs were injured. Joe even lost an eye and is now totally crippled in the team Buck's attempt to overthrow Spitz's leadership. When the entire team, as well as 40 police huskies, are running after a rabbit that spits out, a death match occurs. Buck outruns the rabbit and catches it. Buck strikes him right away and defeats him in a duel with numerous broken legs. The defeated Spitz is killed by the bloodthirsty huskies.

Buck believes he has finally earned the right to head the sled team, but Francois and Perrault believe Sol-leks would be a superior sled team leader and attempt to place him in the lead. Buck, unfortunately for them, isn't going to give up. Buck slides Sol-leks to the side. Francois removes Buck and replaces him with Sol-leks in the lead harness, but Buck refuses to accept the sled team's subordinate position. Francois even puts down the club he's carrying to show Buck that he's serious about making peace. Rather than giving up, Buck persists, making it impossible for them to continue on their journey. They've already wasted an hour, so Francois takes Sol-leks out of the picture and replaces him with Buck. Buck is a great team leader because he is fast to think and act. He also whips the rest of the crew into shape, including the most slacker of them all, Pike. He gives it his all to pull the sled. The dogs go through a particularly difficult phase of sledding, with Francois and Perrault pushing them to their limits. Eventually, Dave begins to stumble; he's in so much agony that he's allowed to walk beside the sled and simply keep up with it, but Dave declines. When the team arrives in Skagway, Dave is put out of his agony, and they continue.

They had planned on taking a long break, but there was no chance. The Canadian government demanded that the letter be delivered as soon as possible. Buck and his team were to be replaced as soon as possible with new dogs. Hal Charles and Mercedes acquired the sled team in this manner. These three were complete novices, overpacking their sled, overfeeding their dogs, not knowing how to pack, and bickering. They came to a halt at John Thornton's camp, where he couldn't tolerate seeing how to beat Buck. Buck is taken by force by Thornton. After that, Hal Charles and Mercedes proceed to a lake where Thornton warns them not to go since the ice is weak. The ice cracked, and the three men and their pets perished. Buck is brought back to life by Thornton and his dogs.

Buck develops feelings for Thornton, but he is also drawn to the woods. Buck is willing to go to any length for Thornton, including attempting to jump from a cliff after Thornton has given the order. Buck wins a $1600 wager after dragging a 1,000-pound sled 100 yards. This bet enables John Thornton and his companions to travel east in search of a long-lost treasure. Buck continues to explore his wild side here, but when a Yeehats trading party kills Thorton and his companions, Buck explodes. Buck kills a significant number of yeehats and causes them to flee; the yeehats then tell about a wolf larger than any they've seen leading a large pack.

Analysis

I. Universality

For its universality, The Call of the Wilds has grown to the point where you do not even have to be of a specific age, sex, race, or culture to connect to it. The novel's characters, particularly the protagonist, are not average because he is a dog, which immediately negates any sex, race, or cultural biases. The work, however, is more appropriate for adults, and young readers should still be supervised because it deals with a lot of violence, making it unsuitable for young readers. Furthermore, the novel was prohibited in certain nations, particularly by the Nazis, due to its obvious socialist undertones. The entire concept and content of the novel The Call of the Wilds have a significant impact on its universality.

II. Artistry

The novel's artistry is demonstrated through the narration, which includes certain creative elements. In narrating the story, the author chose a third-person point of view, which gives us a sense of knowing what is going on. It also allows the author to employ figurative language to convey the story's theme discreetly. The author made extensive use of descriptive words to depict everything in the narrative, allowing readers to have a more vivid imagination while reading. The author did not use a lot of figurative language, allowing the readers to read the lines without having to think too hard about it. Even so, the novel retains its creative merit, particularly in terms of storytelling. It was a unique approach to choosing a protagonist in the form of a dog. This aids the author in developing the theme of violence and social issues such as exploitation.

III. Intellectual Value

The symbolism strewn throughout the story added to the novel's intellectual value. These symbolisms provide messages and meanings that are not immediately obvious until the entire story is analyzed. Jack London's symbolism is the club: 'He had never been struck by a club in his life, and did not comprehend.' (11), which demonstrates the novel's central theme of violence. The author utilized an object that represents violence to help us understand the novel's theme. He never said that violence is the central theme of the work, but rather demonstrated it by linking violence with an object, the club used to beat Buck. The author utilized this as one of his intellectual values. The author uses symbolism to encourage readers to think critically and scrutinize each phrase to figure out what it means.

IV. Suggestiveness

In terms of suggestiveness, the work provides readers with a completely fresh perspective. Even though the plot concentrates on a dog, there are elements in the novel that we can relate to and reflect on in our own lives. We may truly ponder something from the story in the first chapter, especially when Buck is sold, which parallels men's greed for money, 'Manuel, one of the gardener's helpers, was an unwelcome acquaintance.' Manuel had a major flaw. He was a big fan of the Chinese lottery…' (7) Another unique perspective offered by Jack London through his storytelling is on leadership, which we may apply to government or politics: 'It was unavoidable that the battle for leadership should erupt.' Buck had his heart set on it. When Thornton was killed by Yeehats, we could see Buck's character change in the last chapter of the novel, 'And now the call came to Buck in unmistakable accents...' (30) and in the last chapter of the novel, we could see Buck's character change when he was killed by Yeehats, 'And now the call came to Buck in unmistakable accents...' He sat down and howled as well. This was over, and the pack clustered around him, sniffing in a half-friendly, half-savage fashion...' (84) This reveals what the title truly means.

V. Spiritual Value

Even though the novel contains some violence and revenge, it also has certain values. Violence became a central theme in the work, but it was also the foundation upon which the readers' emotions were formed. Even though the work has several flaws, they do not detract from the overall story or message. According to Solomon’s Opponent Process Theory, “When an individual is constantly subjected to anything that elicits an emotional reaction, such as anxiety, the opposing emotion is eventually evoked. As a result, the initial emotion might be weaker while the opposite emotion becomes stronger.” This theory suggests that though there are negative emotions inflicted, it could still have a positive outcome since the person would have an opposite emotional reaction towards it.

VI. Permanence

Though the novel, The Call of the Wild is set amid the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s it has not become a barrier to other generations' ability to empathize with it. (Lohnes, “Britannica”) Even if slavery and wars are no longer prevalent, it is still socially relevant. We might still compare it to worker exploitation, capitalism, and a government that is overly controlling. Even though it was first published in 1903, it continues to pique people's attention and emotions because of its different approach to the novel. (Wikipedia).VII. Style

We may conclude that for a 1903 novel, it is slightly ahead of its time when compared to other novels written in the 1900s, such as The Souls of Black Folk and The Way of All Flesh, but it still does not distinguish itself from typical themes in nineteenth-century novels, such as realism. (Lopez, “Literatures in English Unican”) The story was written in a style that people could instantly respond to by inflicting emotion on the readers through the characters' personalities and experiences. The author employed a lot of descriptive phrases and figurative language to convey the novel's point without being too blatant. The choice of character and period also has a role in the novel's chapter-by-chapter progression. It aids the writer in expressing graphic scenes in a light-hearted manner.

Resources:

    1. Lohnes, Kate. “The Call of the Wild. Analysis.” Britannica, November 15, 2018, https:www.britannica.comtopicThe-Call-of-the-Wild
    2. London, Jack. “The Call of the Wild.” Ibiblio.org, AFPL Ghostscript, April 29, 2004, https:www.ibiblio.orgebooksLondonCall of Wild.pdf
    3. López, Jesús Ángel González. “ENGLISH REALISM: THE VICTORIAN ERA (1837-1901).” Blogspot, December 10, 2009, http:literatureinenglishunican.blogspot.com200912english-realism-victorian-era-1837-1901.html
    4. Solomon, Richard. “An Opponent-Process Theory of Motivation: I. Temporal Dynamics of Affect.” Psychological Review, 1974, DOI: 10.1037h0036128
    5. Wikipedia. The Call of the Wild, May 3, 2009, https: en. wikipedia.orgwikiThe_Call_of_the_Wild

 

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The Call of the Wild’ Theme Essay. (2024, April 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-call-of-the-wild-theme-essay/
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