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___________________________Call of the Wild by Jack London


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Call of the Wild

 

Chapter II: The Law of Club and Fang

Summary:

Buck finds his new environment extremely primitive and he is shocked to see that survival is dependent on how well one can fight. He watches in utter disgust as Curly, who makes a friendly overture to one of the huskies, is rebuffed and her face is ripped open. When she attempts to ward of her attacker, she falls to the ground and is crushed as thirty or so other huskies join the fight. Spitz appears to enjoy the skirmish most of all and Buck begins to hate him with a vengeance.

Shortly thereafter, Buck has his first experience at pulling a sled. He doesn't have an easy time with it, but is quick to learn the various commands. In addition, Spitz is the leads dog and continuously harasses Buck with his growls. His next problem comes at night when it is time to sleep. Being used to a warmer climate and sleeping indoors, he is at a loss as to where to sleep. He soon realizes, after watching one of the dogs, that the way to survive the night in this region is to dig a hole and snuggle into it for warmth.

It doesn't take Buck too long to adapt to his new environment. His body grows firmer and his sight and scent become keener.


Review:

Buck's entire life has changed in a matter of a few days. He must learn to survive in the Alaskan wilderness and adapt to the hardships of Yukon life. He realizes that the law of the Southland, from where he came, is essentially moral and based on loving one's neighbor as much as one's self, whereas the law of the Northland is based on survival or looking after oneself. He takes on the characteristics of his less-civilized ancestors by becoming less domesticated and sharpening his instincts. Even his eating habits reveal these changes. He is becoming more wild and "wolfs" down his food as well as steals food to satisfy his hunger.

These changes in Buck's behavior raise an interesting question of whether they indicate development or retrogression.

 

  • Biography of Jack London

  • Character List

  • Background on The Call of the Wild

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  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 2

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 3

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 4

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 5

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 6

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapter 7

  • Themes

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