Call of the Wild
Where did man come from? Scientists thought they had answered this simple yet complex question through Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. According to him, living organisms evolved due to constant changing. Organisms which gained an edge would reign, while those without would die. Jack London’s books during the late 1800’s
animated this theory through the use of wild animals in a struggle for survival. In fact, many prove that to survive a species “must” have an edge. In London’s book the Call of the Wild, the harsh depiction of the Klondike wilderness proves that to survive life must adapt.
London uses Buck as his first character to justify his theory as he conforms well
to the hostile North. While at Judge Miller’s, pampered Buck never worries about his
next meal or shelter; yet while in the frozen Klondike he has death at his heels. Until his
body adapts to the strenuous toil of the reins, Buck needs more food than the other dogs.
He must steal food from his masters in order to conform. If Buck continues his stealthy
work he will survive. A second example occurs when Thorton owns Buck, and Spitz,
the lead dog, constantly watches the team in a dominant manner. Buck, if
insubordinate, runs the risk of death. He lays low, learning Spitz’s every tactic. Buck
adapts to circumstances until finally he strikes against Spitz in a fight for the dominant
position. By killing Spitz, he gains a supreme air, and in turn an adaptation against the
law of the fang. A third example surfaces during Buck’s leadership. The fledgling dog,
to Francios and Perrault, cannot work up to par for the lead. So Buck conducts himself
as a master sled dog, reaching Francios and Perrault’s goals, conforming to the team.
The group plows through snow reaching at least forty miles a day. The dogs spend at
most two weeks in the wild Klondike. In a way Buck heightens the safety of each person
and dog. He adapts to the environment and new position. Within the Call of the Wild,
Buck must have a part to justify London’s theory.
In the novel London uses Mercedes, Hal, and Charles, a group of very
inexperienced and even less equipped city goers, to depict the probable doom of those
who do not adapt. While in Skagway the three have no idea what the Klondike holds.
The well dressed well fed team wants nothing but riches and fame. In their effort for