Buck in Call of the Wild by Jack London

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Being a sled dog is not easy. In the book Call of the Wild by Jack London, Buck a St. Bernard mix is thrown away from his luxurious into the harsh life of a sled dog. As Buck learns to be a sled dog he has to overcome many conflicts along the way. Buck conquered every challenge he faced where others did not succeed. The point this essay will make is why Buck succeeded when others did not. Buck succeeded when others did not because he followed his instincts and adapted.

Buck succeed when others did not because he brought himself to a more primitive state. Buck expressed atavism at many points in the book. One of the places where Buck showed atavism was when he was taught the Law of Club by the Man in the Red Sweater. Where he showed atavism was when he learned he could not beat a man with a weapon, so he learned “ A man with a club is a law giver, and a master to be obeyed, though not necessarily conciliated.” (pg#34) This helped Buck throughout the book helping him escape being beaten. Other dogs in the book when not following this law were beaten, sometimes to death. Henceforth one of the reasons Buck succeeded when others did not is by adapting himself to a more primitive state.

Buck was successful throughout the story because he followed the primitive laws of the wild. Buck succeeded because he followed the laws of the wild and expressed naturalism. Philosophical naturalism is the idea that you are better off being true to your nature than not. Buck shows naturalism while with Françoise and Perrault who are couriers for the Canadian Government. Buck finds that he can’t be “… a dainty eater…” (pg#46) like he used to be because “… his mates, finishing first, robbed him of his unfinished ration.” (pg#46)

Buck solved this by eating swiftly, his body adapted to where “He could eat anything…” (pg#47) while his stomach “…extracted the last least particle of nutriment…” (pg#47) keeping Buck from starving to death. When living with John Thornton, Buck expressed true naturalism when he started to prefer to catch is own food rather than eat the meat given to him by John Thornton. Thus Buck’s naturalism helped him overcome challenges in the wild while others could not.

Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, Buck learned this early in the story and it would help him succeed in surviving time and time again. This is the main rule of Darwinism, kill or be killed, survival of the fittest. After Buck was shipped to Alaska, Buck sees a good natured Newfoundland named Curley get killed for letting her guard down, making herself a target by being friendly.

From then on Buck tried to not show weakness. He learned “…there was no middle course. He must master or be mastered; while to show mercy was a weakness.” (pg#99) This idea of kill or be killed was expressed when the tensions between Buck and Spitz, the dog who killed Curley and is very cruel, finally snapped, after a fierce fight Buck emerged victorious, Spitz never emerged at all. In contrast when buck adapted to the laws of darwinism he succeeded while others did not.


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Buck in Call of the Wild by Jack London. (2021, Jun 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/buck-in-call-of-the-wild-by-jack-london/



What did Buck do in Call of the Wild?
In Call of the Wild, Buck is a loyal and heroic dog who becomes the leader of his pack. He is forced to fight for his life in the wilderness, and ultimately becomes the king of the forest.
Where was buck taken to for what work?
Buck was taken to the Klondike for gold mining.
Who was Buck describe him?
Buck was a large, powerful dog with a kind heart. He was fiercely loyal to his owner, John Thornton, and would do anything to protect him.
Who was Buck?
Buck, the main character in the novel, is a four-year-old, 140-pound Saint Bernard and Scotch shepherd mix . His father was a huge Saint Bernard and the companion of Judge Miller. When Buck's father passed away, Buck became the new buddy of Judge Miller.
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