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The Call Of The Wild

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The Call of the Wild, on the surface, is a story about Buck, a four- year old dog that is part Shepherd and part St. Bernard. More importantly, it is a naturalistic tale about the survival of the fittest in nature. Throughout the novel, Buck proves that he is fit and can endure the law of the club, the law of the fang, and the laws of nature.

Buck had been raised in California, on the ranch of Judge Miller. There he had the run of the place and was loved and pampered by all. Unfortunately, one of the judge's workers had a gambling problem and stole Buck to sell him for fifty dollars. Buck fights being tied, caged, and beaten, but his efforts only frustrate him. He is put on a train and a boat, being shipped to Alaska to be used as a sled dog. Although he is miserable on the journey, Buck learns an important lesson - the law of the club. If he does not obey, he will be beaten.

In Alaska, Buck is sold to become a sled dog. Intelligent and hard working, he quickly learns to adapt to his new life. He becomes a good sled dog, working as part of the team; he also learns how to protect himself from the miserable cold, burrowing under the snow, and how to find food, stealing if necessary. He also learns he must always be alert, for there are dangers everywhere. Additionally, Buck learns the law of the whip, for if he does not obey the driver or do his fair share of pulling, he will be popped.

Buck also learns the law of the fang. Unlike the domesticated dogs at Judge Miller's house, the dogs in Alaska are fierce, never hesitating to attack an enemy, be it dog or other creature. Most of the other dogs stay away from Buck because of his size and strength, but Spitz becomes his constant enemy, from whom he learns an important lesson. Spitz fights with Curly, one of the dogs that is friendly to Buck. Buck watches as all the other dogs attack and kill Curly once he is down. Buck is determined he will never be put in the same position. He will fight to the death if necessary.

Spitz constantly picks on Buck, wanting to get in a fight with him; Buck, however, resists the challenges from Spitz. Then one time he steals the resting-place that Buck has created for himself. Buck has had enough and attacks Spitz with a vengeance. Francois and Perrault have to separate the two dogs. Although the fight is stopped, the animosity continues, and the two enemies are always in a skirmish. Then one day when Spitz prematurely kills a rabbit that all the dogs have been chasing, Buck attacks again. The battle is fierce, and Buck is losing. He then calls upon his intelligence and imagination to defeat Spitz. Instead of going for his throat, Buck attacks Spitz's front legs, breaking both of them. Once he is down, the other dogs come in for the kill.

Now that Spitz has been eliminated, Buck is determined to become the leader of the dog sled team. When Francois and Perrault harness Sol-leks at the front of the team instead of Buck, he refuses to fall into his place. When the drivers try to catch him, Buck runs out of reach. The "game" of tag continues for hours until finally



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