Summer Reading

The Call Of The Wild

Context

Jack London was born in San Francisco on January 12, 1876, the illegitimate son of Flora Wellman, the rebellious daughter of an aristocratic family, and William Chaney, a traveling astrologer who abandoned Flora when she became pregnant. Eight months after her son was born, Flora married John London, a grocer and Civil War veteran whose last name the infant took. London grew up in Oakland, and his family was mired in poverty throughout his youth. He remained in school only through the eighth grade but was a voracious reader and a frequent visitor to the Oakland Public Library, where he went about edu-cating himself and laying the groundwork for his impending literary career.

Facts About The Book

point of view  · Buck’s point of view, for the most part; the novel also shifts briefly into John Thornton’s point of view during his wager involving Buck’s ability to pull a heavy sledtone  · Sweeping, romantic, heroictense  · Pastsetting (time)  · The late 1890s

Characters

Buck, John Thornton, Hal Charles and Mercedes,

Major Parts Of The Story

major conflict  · Buck’s struggle against his masters and his development from a tame dog into a wild beastrising action  · Buck’s battle with Spitz; Buck’s struggle with Hal, Charles, and Mercedes; Buck’s fulfillment of Thornton’s wagerclimax  · John Thornton’s saving of Buck's life from Hal's crueltyfalling action  · Buck's time with Thornton, leading up to Thornton's deaththemes  · The laws of civilization and of wilderness; the membership of the individual in the group; the power of instinct and ancestral memory; the struggle for mastery