Buck -“The call of the wild”
The Call of the Wild is a novel by American author Jack London published in 1903. The story takes
place in the Yukon at the time of the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush when strong sled dogs were
in high demand. A dog named Buck is the central character, who at the beginning of the story is
domesticated, but when he is snatched from a ranch in California and sold into the brutal life of
an Alaskan sled dog he reverts to more atavistic traits. Buck is forced to adjust and survive the
cruel treatment, fight to dominate other dogs, and survive in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds
the veneer of civilization, relies on primordial instincts and the lessons he has learned, to become
a leader in the wild.
As the story opens, Buck, a powerful St. Bernard x Scotch Collie lives a comfortable life in
California's Santa Clara Valley as the pet of Judge Miller. Manuel, the gardener's assistant,
harassed in hiscrate and given nothing to eat or drink. Released from the
crate, he confronts and is beaten by the "man in the red sweater", and is
taught to respect the club. Buck is bought by a pair of French-Canadian
dispatchers from the Canadian government named François and
Perrault, who take him to the Klondike region of Canada and train
him as a sled dog where he quickly learns how to survive the cold
winter nights and the pack society by observing his teammates. He
and the vicious, quarrelsome lead dog, Spitz, develop a rivalry. Buck
eventually beats Spitz in a fight "to the death". Spitz is killed by the pack
after his defeat and Buck becomes the leader of the team.
Buck proves himself as leader of the
pack when he fights Spitz to the death.