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Character Analysis

Hal is not someone you want to be spending time with—not if you’re a person, and definitely not if you’re a dog. If Thornton is the ideal human, Hal is his polar opposite. Hal is violent, impatient, violent, foolish...and did we mention violent?

This was the first time Buck had failed, in itself a sufficient reason to drive Hal into a rage. He exchanged the whip for the customary club. Buck refused to move under the rain of heavier blows which now fell upon him. Like his mates, he barely able to get up, but, unlike them, he had made up his mind not to get up. (5.58)

Yeah. Hal's a brute. He's also a idiotic brute—one who confuses the dogs' exhaustion for their hunger, and who decides that not listening to the advice of veteran Yukoners is the way to go. Unsurprisingly, he bites the big one.

Hal's Timeline