The Call of the Wild is a novel written by an American writer John London. The novel entails the life of a dog called Buck who lives in the home of Judge Miller in Santa Clara, California. He is a large and strong animal. This appearance is what gets him kidnapped and sold to be a sled dog. He is transported to Alaska and sold to a pair of Canadians named François and Perrault who are interested in his physique. They train him as a sled dog and he quickly adapts to the cold winter nights as well observing his teammates. Buck and another dog Spitz (the leader of the pack) develop rivalry between them. A fight erupts between them and Spitz looses. Buck then becomes the leader after the other dogs close in on Spitz and kill him. Afterwards he is sold to a man called Charles, his wife Mercedes and her brother Hal. These do not know anything about sledding or surviving in Alaska. They mistreat the dogs by not feeding them.
Finally Buck is taken in by John Thornton, an outdoorsman. He warns the trio on crossing a river but they do not listen. Their ignorance is what leads to their death together with the other dogs. Unfortunately john is killed by a group of Yeehat Indians. Buck avenges by killing some of them after which he develops friendship with a wolf. He in turn goes to live in the forest answering the call to the wild.
Knowledge and wisdom is one among other themes which is brought out through the story. A theme refers to the main subject in a piece of work. Buck clearly brings out this theme of knowledge and wisdom in certain instances throughout the story. He was taken from the comfort of his owner Judge Miller who had him as a hunting dog. He was thrown into another life with a different environment. He had to establish how to go about with his new job (as a sled dog) and how to coexist with the other dogs. He had to adapt to the harsh conditions as many dogs died due to it. Buck’s situation can be compared to tough situations that we sometimes find ourselves in. Just like Buck, we should be able to apply knowledge and wisdom in these instances.
The story is set in the harsh conditions of Alaska. These are what forced Buck to adapt to his new life. He suffers the hardships of cold, hunger and starvation all brought out by the setting. Buck transforms both physically and spiritually. The setting has succeeded to bring out the intended flow of the story. In life, we are sometimes thrown into situations which are harsh and unfavorable. We should try and adapt to these conditions as a survival tactic. This follows from Buck’s struggle to survive.
John London uses an omniscient narrator or rather the third person point of view. In this he is able to enlighten us of Buck’s thoughts. We get familiarize ourselves with the protagonists reasoning, feelings, desires and dreams. At another instance the narrator pulls away from Buck. For example during the beginning of the story, we are informed of the nature of the environment as well as the gold rush. The narration is most effective in that it sheds light on everything that happens in the story since it is from an omniscient view.
John London has definitely proved his proficiency in this piece of work. He takes Buck who’s a dog as the main protagonist. It is quite interesting as the reader would want to know the character of the dog, his thinking as well as his feelings. The setting has proved to support the emergence of the theme of knowledge and wisdom. The literary techniques used in this story have contributed to its flow as well making the reader be consistent in reading it. The ending of the story ends the reader’s question about the title Call of the Wild as Buck finally goes to live in the forest. Generally the story is a captivating as well as an interesting one.