“The Call of the Wild” by Jack London: the Strongest and Smartest Always Prosper

July 6, 2021 by Essay Writer

Jack London, in his book ‘The call of the wild’, portrays, that the strongest, smartest, and the one who is not shy of compromising their morals in the wilderness, will always prosper. In this novel, Buck, the protagonist, a Saint Bernard/ scotch shepherd mix, is taken from his home in California, and becomes a sled dog, and eventually the lead sled dog, in Alaska. Buck is constantly learning about life in the wild, about the law of club and fang, and how the man with the club is the top, and you do not fight that. He also learns that the strong survive well when he kills Spitz.

In the book, Buck always ate slow and deliberately, but seeing another dog steal food, to get more, and being fed much less than he is used to, he adapts this practice, against his own morals, and steals food. Later in the book, London says that ‘buck was now wise in the way of the club’. This shows: In the call of the wild, Buck learns that only the strong and smart survive in the wild, and that unfortunately, to survive, sometimes, moral integrity is compromised. Midst this novel, the smart are the strong. During Buck’s fight with the former lead dog; “Spitz was untouched, while Buck was streaming with blood and panting.” It seems as if the battle will be soon be over, due to the fact that: “The fighting was getting desperate … As buck grew winded, Spitz took to rushing, and he kept him staggering for footing.” Buck then realizes that his size, though larger than Spitz, was no match for the skills that Spitz had acuminated, fighting other dogs, many times throughout his career as sled lead. “Buck possessed a quality that made for greatness — imagination. He fought by instinct, but he could fight by head as well.”

Buck led Spitz to a trick that ended in death. The death of Spitz. Buck was then the lead of the sled, learning then, that in the wild, your mind is your greatest ally. Throughout this yarn, the strong are the prosperous. Buck learns this first by learning the law of club and fang after getting beaten and knocked unconscious by the man in the red sweater. In which, the man with the club was the boss, the strongest dog was the assistant boss, and you did not fight that, unless you are challenging their position. Buck learns this a second time, shortly after the first, by seeing Curly, a friend made early in his adventure, After trying to befriend a husky that was vicious, the other dog jumps in and attacks her, and she tries in vain to fight back and is killed, much to the horror and dismay of Buck, at seeing a friend killed, and to the joy of the watching dogs, who then eat her. “The scene often came back to buck to trouble him in his sleep. So that was the way. No fair play. Once down, that was the end of you.” Buck learns from this that in the wild, the rules are always in favor of the strong.

Lastly in the course of this potboiler, to be smart, strong, and to prosper, sometimes moral integrity must be compromised, and what needs to happen, must be done. Buck learned this, soon after he starts working with the sled team. His strength starts to wane, due to being fed portions much smaller than he was given at his home, and his food is getting stolen because “Buck had always been a dainty eater, and he ate slowly and deliberately.” Buck learns to eat faster so that his food will not be stolen. Later, he sees a dog steal food from Francois and Perrault, to get more to eat. Buck, knowing that to be able to work effectively as part of the sled, needed to eat more food. And thinking of this, for the first time, Buck stole some food when the men were not looking. “… and he got away with a whole chunk of bacon.” Before, he had eaten what was given and not a bite more, but when circumstances became dangerous, Buck- against his morals- did what was required to live, and from then on always did what he could, to stay alive.

Throughout this novelette, Buck learns that your mind is your greatest ally, when you and your mindset is in perfect harmony with your brain, you become the strongest, and when you become strong, if and quite possibly when, compromising your morals will keep you alive. You will prosper. You will become the best there is. Buck learned this in the Call of the Wild. He thought, he fought, and finally became at peace with himself, and when he did, he ended up the Smartest. The strongest. He became the Leader, and that’s all there is to it.

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