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Themes

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.

Questions About Friendship

  1. What do you think of Buck's camaraderie with the sled dogs as compared to his camaraderie with the wolves? Is one stronger than the other? If you're feeling adventurous, you could also think about Thornton-based camaraderie.
  2. Why is Buck so hesitant to be friends with anyone? OK, bad question - it's probably because he was violently ripped from his happy life in California and forced into a life of slavery, starvation, and suffering. What would be a better question, then, is how Buck is able to get to the point where he lowers his defenses and becomes friendly with other dogs, people, wolves, etc. So, what do you think?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

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.

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