Love Portrayal Of Jack London
Throughout the novel The Call of the Wild Buck is thrown into a vast amount of obstacles. Buck is a half Saint Bernard and Half Sheepdog who is stolen from a home in California. He was then sold as a sled dog in the arctic where he would begin his adventure. Buck undergoes many challenges that can be related to human beings. The two experiences that everyone goes through are love and death. According to Jack London in The Call of the Wild, love and death are portrayed as bitter, sweet, and deadly.
Buck is thrown into a brutal world where he fights to survive. Buck meets Curly, a Newfoundland. They become friends on their journey to the north. There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly's face was ripped open from eye to jaw (London 44). After Buck’s friend Curly was killed, Buck vows to not have the same fate. Buck’s first encounter of losing his friend showed him how dangerous his journey will be, where love will leave a bitter feeling in the end.
As Buck’s journey continues, he gets a taste of how sweet and bitter death can be. Dogs and men answer the call of their savage natures and their terrifying environment in a violent, bloody, and continual struggle for survival (Mann 1). The harsh environment creates a sense of survival of the fittest. The men beat the dogs to keep them going to reach their destination. The dogs fight to stay alive and in some cases, fight to be dominant. Buck fights and kills Spitz, who was the lead the dog. Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good (London 99). After killing spitz, Buck assumes the lead position. This shows how Spitz’s death was a sweet victory for Buck.
At the end of the first journey, Buck was sold to a group of American gold hunters. On Buck’s next journey, his team of sled dogs are pushed beyond exhaustion. One of the sled dogs that Buck befriended is shot because it could no longer keep up. Life in The Call of the Wild is a survival built on the death of other living creatures (Mann 1). Buck gets a taste of how bitter death can be. Throughout the novel it is shown, that when one creature is killed the other will survive with the burden of the dead creature. This portrays the effects of death on Buck.
Midway through Buck’s second journey, the American gold hunters run into John Thornton. Thornton warns the gold hunters of thin ice up ahead. The gold hunters disregard the warning but Buck decides that he will not go any further. The gold hunters beat Buck until Thornton comes in to rescue Buck. "You poor devil," said John Thornton, and Buck licked his hand (London 157). Buck immediately falls in the love with Thornton and stays with him. Though London uses words like “adoration” and “madness,” he makes it clear that Thornton is “the ideal master.” Buck has become a love-slave, the reverse of his relationship to the...