Friendship is an expendable entity in the world of the wild. The dogs proceed with caution when making friends with one another, often feeling defensive and on edge about their relationships. Buck does eventually become friendly with the other dogs, but the theme takes a more interesting turn in Buck’s budding friendship with a wolf of the wild. Here we see friendship used as an indicator of Buck’s internal strife. It adds to the turmoil over his decision of whether to stay with Thornton or leave for the wild. Friendship is also used symbolically; that Buck is drawn to a single lone wolf represents his larger desire to be a part of the natural world.
While he does take a position as leader, Buck is drawn to the wild because he identifies a camaraderie with the wild wolves.
While Buck at first feels camaraderie with the other sled dogs, he identifies a stronger bond with the wolves of the wild.