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The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Defeat Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

And strange Buck was to him, for of the many Southland dogs he had known, not one had shown up worthily in camp and on trail. They were all too soft, dying under the toil, the frost, and starvation. Buck was the exception. He alone endured and prospered, matching the husky in strength, savagery, and cunning. Then he was a masterful dog, and what made him dangerous was the fact that the club of the man in the red sweater had knocked all blind pluck and rashness out of his desire for mastery. He was preeminently cunning, and could bide his time with a patience that was nothing less than primitive. (3.22)

In some ways, being able to submit is a victory all on its own. It is an ability that separates Buck from the other dogs, and is a primitive quality rather than a domestic one. Again, we see a mental component to the act of submission.

Quote #8

François sat down and scratched his head. Perrault looked at his watch and swore. Time was flying, and they should have been on the trail an hour gone. François scratched his head again. He shook it and grinned sheepishly at the courier, who shrugged his shoulders in sign that they were beaten. (4.11)

The men that understand the ways of dogs and the wild are able to admit when they are defeated, whereas the ignorant men (Charles and Hal) are not.

Quote #9

"You poor, poor dears," she cried sympathetically, "why don't you pull hard?--then you wouldn't be whipped." Buck did not like her, but he was feeling too miserable to resist her, taking it as part of the day's miserable work. (5.29)

As Buck’s physical condition worsens, his ability to fight weakens.

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