Jack Londons Call Of The Wild Positive Critism

1376 words - 6 pages

A Beautiful Novel "No literary historian but sooner or later must reckon with Jack London." Fred Lewis was exact in his The Development of the American Short Story in describing London's various works (Labor, 87). In Earle Labor's Jack London, he described Call of the Wild as an instant classic. The literary community shows enormous admiration towards London's ability to combine realism, romanticism, and symbolism all in one novel. Jack London's Call of the Wild is one of the greatest and most advanced books of American history (Buck, 254). Jack London lived a harsh life from the start. Shortly after his birth in 1876, he was abandoned by his father, and he took his stepfather's name. When he was a young 14, London was forced out of school and into the work force due to his family's poor financial condition. He did try to expand his horizons by reading works by Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and other philosophical scholars. Even though he came back from the gold rush of 1898 penniless, the lifelong memories of the harsh Klondike served as the setting for a great number of his books. Interviews with London near his death show great depression, and many researchers believe that this lead to suicide. London's characters were the most advanced of his time. Buck was smart, fearless, and instinctual, and he knew when to use each of these traits (Buck, 255). At one of the peaks in action and anticipation in the book, Buck runs into his rival. "In a flash Buck knew it. The time had come. It was to the death" (London, 78). Buck did not fear the lead dog, Spitz, even though he realized that only one of them would come out alive. Spitz was an experienced fighter, and throughout the fight it looked as though Buck had no chance. Each time Buck tried to attack Spitz, he was countered by a defensive move and injured seemingly easily. The fight quickly became almost hopeless, but Buck did not try and run. Instead, he stayed smart and kept his courage. "Spitz was untouched, while Buck was streaming with blood and panting hard. The fight was growing desperate" (London, 79). Buck makes a final attack and "at last, shoulder had squarely met shoulder," and Buck comes out victorious. London manages to make his characters not only clever and daring, but they force the reader to think the best and worst thoughts (Buck, 255). In the Klondike, you must not only work as a team, but you must betray your teammates for your own well being in order to survive. London illustrates this concept beautifully when Buck steals food from one of his teammates for the first time. "The pound and a half of sun-dried salmon, which was his ration for each day, seemed to go nowhere. He never had enough, and suffered from perpetual hunger pangs" (London, 62). Buck was not used to the conditions of the Klondike, one of them being the food rations. London forces the reader to realize that, if Buck wants to continue to climb through the ranks and improve his skill,...

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