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Essay/Term paper: Call of the wild: character sketch - buck

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Call of the Wild: Character Sketch - Buck

Throughout the novel The Call of the Wild, we follow a dog named Buck
through his journey through the Klondike. We experience a transformation in him,
as he adapts to the cold, harsh land where he is forced to toil in the snow,
just to help men find a shiny metal. Buck seems to almost transform into a
different dog by the end of the book. In this essay, I will go over what Buck
was like, how and why he was forced to adapt to his new environment, and what he
changed into.
When we first met up with Buck, he lived in the Santa Clara Valley, on
Judge Miller's property. He was the ruler of his domain, uncontested by any
other local dogs. he was a mix between a St. Bernard and a Scotch Shepherd dog.
He weighed one hundred and forty pounds, and he carried every one with utmost
pride. Buck had everything he could want. Little did he know, he would soon
have it all taken away from him. One night, while the judge was away at a raisin
grower's committee meeting, the gardener, Manuel, took Buck away from his home.
Buck was then sold, and thrown in a baggage car. This would be the beginning of
a new, cruel life for Buck. On his ride to wherever he was going, Buck's pride
was severely damaged, if not completely wiped out by men who used tools to
restrain him. No matter how many times Buck tried to lunge, he would just be
choked into submission at the end. When Buck arrived at his destination, there
was snow everywhere, not to mention the masses of Husky and wolf dogs. Buck was
thrown into a pen with a man who had a club. This is where Buck would learn one
of the two most important laws that a dog could know in the Klondike. The law of
club is quite simple, if there is a man with a club, a dog would be better off
not to challenge that man. Buck learned this law after he was beaten half to
death by the man who had the club. no matter what he tried, he just couldn't win.

Buck was sold off to a man who put him in a harness connected to many
other dogs. Buck was bad at first, but eventually, he learned the way of trace
and trail. Buck had to learn many things if he was to survive in this frigid
land. He had to learn to sleep under the snow, and to eat his food as fast as
possible so as not to have it stolen. At about this point in the book, we see
Buck start to go through a metamorphosis of sorts. He transforms from a house
dog to a more primitive, savage version of his former self. It was as if
hundreds of years of knowledge, learned by his ancestors, were dug up and
brought out. Buck proceeded to lose all the fat in his body and replace it with
muscle. Buck was no longer Judge Miller's pet. He was a machine of survival and
triumph. Most Southland dogs like him ended up dead because of their inability
to conform. Buck was born to lead the team, but one dog would do everything
possible to try and keep him down. This dog's name was Spitz. Spitz was a white
wolf dog who was a proven champion in confrontation and was as crafty as they
come. It was clear that he and Buck would not work well together. When dogs have
confrontation in the Klondike, only one survives. This was because of a law
called fang. The law of Fang is such that, when two dogs fight and one is
knocked to the ground, that is it. The rest of the spectators will instantly
pounce on the downed dog and make quick work of it.
All of these unspoken rules had turned Buck into the Best dog to ever
roam the Klondike. Buck did eventually fight Spitz and send him to his death.
After all of the transformations and cruelty he had been through, you would
think that Buck would never be able to trust another human. He was being starved
to death by a gold seeking group who had not brought enough food for the dogs.
When Buck could finally not move another step, a man from the group started to
beat Buck. As the blows grew less and less painful, and he was fading farther
and farther, Buck knew he was dying. While Buck was being beaten, a man named
John Thornton came forth and took Buck from his attacker. The man nursed Buck
back to health, and from that day forward, Buck lived for that man. Buck loved
him with all his being.
After being with this man for quite some time, Buck started to hear a
call from far away. He started paying more and more attention to this call. He
went out for days at a time searching for it's source. This call was the call of
the wild. He had a will to go off and be with other dogs. He felt the urge to be
free from man and catch his own food. One day, Buck finally left for good. He
was excepted by a pack of wolves who treated him like a wolf himself. And so the
transformation was complete. Buck had changed from a dog, to a beast of nature.


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