Mercedes Work Dogs

720 Words3 Pages
Have you ever been reading a book, and wished that you could become part of the story so that you could stop what was happening? Throughout Jack London’s, “The Call of the Wild,” the author paints many all too vivid pictures in the reader’s mind of how work dogs were beaten or mistreated during the Alaskan gold rush. While these descriptions of how the dogs were treated serve the obvious purpose of furthering the plot on the surface, are they also used to convey the message of what kind of people the owners? A way to determine if this is so is to examine the perspectives of two of the owners regarding work dogs, the man known as the Scotch Half-Breed and Mercedes, and develop conclusions about their personalities from that information.
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In London’s book, Mercedes says to the dogs, “You poor, poor dears why don’t you pull hard? - then you wouldn’t be whipped.” This shows that, as Mercedes simply believes that the dogs are choosing not to pull hard enough, she believes that they can just do anything, and ignores that they are long overdue for a rest. This belief is tied to thinking of work dogs as tools, as one would think of a hammer as capable of enduring anything, so Mercedes most likely believes that the dogs are just tools. Mercedes almost certainly believes this of some people, as, in the book, she thinks her husband should be able to give her a life of total luxury, and is angry when he can’t. In London’s book, the narrator states, “[Mercedes] no longer considered the dogs, and because she was sore and tired, she persisted in riding on the sled.” This quote shows that, in her core, Mercedes doesn’t care about the dogs at all. When one is sore and tired, and has faced many hardships, one’s true nature begins to show. In this case, Mercedes true nature was being selfish and lazy. She chooses to, rather than work, add weight to the dog’s sled, and increase their load. This makes the work dogs’ job much more difficult, but Mercedes still expects the dogs to be able to perform their job perfectly. This again goes back to Mercedes thinking of the
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