The Call of the Wild, written by Jack London and published in 1903 was the author’s most famous work. The story from a different perspective than we’re accustomed to reading about. The book is told through a dog’s, Buck’s, perspective.
My dad has been telling me to read this book for a long time now, and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. I’ve always loved the outdoors, especially when I was little. Reading this book brought up a lot of fond memories from when I was only eight or nine years old fishing and backpacking with my dad and so this was a lot of fun for me to read.
In the novel, the protagonist is a half St. Bernard and half sheepdog named Buck that lives in the Santa Clara Valley in California. The gold rush up north, in parts like Alaska and Canada, create the plot of the story. The gold rush creates a need for sled dogs and Buck is kidnapped and shipped to the Klondike region of Canada to become one.
When he arrives in Klondike, he is shocked by the brutality of life there. The Californian is used to a very leisurely and safe life (like most of us in California). He learns to hunt, fight and fend for himself and becomes closer to his wild ancestors while doing so. The life he has is now kill or be killed, but he’s becoming very good at it. In fact, He kills off the other lead dog and becomes the sole leader of his pack.
Buck and his team of sled dogs bounces from one master to the next. The first two, Francois and Perrault, two mail carriers, were good owners. The next mail carrier however overworks the dogs and eventually has to shoot one that becomes ill. Next, they’re handed over to American gold hunters named Hal, Charles, and Mercedes. These guys are complete idiots and cruel on top of it. In the midst of their trek, the gold hunters run out of food. Nine dogs die of starvation by the time they reach John Thornton’s camp. Thornton cuts buck loose when Hal begins to beat him, and Buck and Thornton become inseparable.
Thornton and Buck’s relationship is truly special. They go through everything together and have some amazing adventures. Thornton and Buck go with a group of people into the forest in search of a lost gold mine. While searching Buck feels “the call of the wild.” He begins a new life in the wild, but always comes back to visit Thornton. One day when he comes back to the camp to visit, he finds that Thornton has been killed by Yeehat Indians. Buck goes off on the Indians and kills many of them, becoming a great leader of wolves in the wild.