Examples Of Individualism In The Call Of The Wild

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Jack London’s “The call of the wild” has a prominent place in the canon of American literature. Even though the novel is primarily the story of a dog named Buck, the book distinguishes itself from other animal adventures in its display of philosophical depth. An analysis through an eco-critical lens, narrowing it down to wilderness, the paper attempts to explore the portrayal of wilderness and the influence of wilderness on the lives of both the human and non- human beings in the novel.
Buck, uprooted from a comfortable civilized life of the sun kissed Californian estate struggles as a sled dog in the Canadian wilderness. The wilderness is an uncaring cruel world where only the strong live. There is a complete transformation of the old civilized moral Buck to the harsher realities of life in the wilderness of the frosty north. Buck is once amazed by the brutality that he happened to see around him especially when a group of huskies tore his friend Curly apart, killing her on spot. But in due course of time, he learns to imbibe the
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Mastery is attained only through the separation from a pack mentality. Throughout the narrative, Buck is a part of a group of dogs serving men. When John Thornton cuts Buck loose from the brutal torture of his masters, he is also setting Buck free from a pack mentality. Even when Buck serves his new master Thornton with total devotion and love, he has a growing attraction to the wild. His eagerness for a solitary life in the wild overcomes him eventually that takes him back to the wild. At this juncture of the narrative, the balance between group and individual is disrupted as Buck joins a pack of wolves and establishes his authority, inspiring fear among the Yeehat Indians. As the wolf pack is different from the sled team that worked for the mail carriers and gold hunters, the novel conveys the idea that the wild needs the cooperation of a group for individual
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