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Quotes

Quote #7

To remedy this, he ate as fast as they; and, so greatly did hunger compel him, he was not above taking what did not belong to him. He watched and learned. (2.21)

Buck’s adaptation spreads to all aspects of existence, from pulling a sled to sleeping in the snow to simple tasks, such as eating.

Quote #8

This first theft marked Buck as fit to survive in the hostile Northland environment. It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death. It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence. (2.22)

While Buck’s adaptation involves learning many new things, it also involves unlearning some old traits. In some ways, adaptation destroys parts of Buck’s initial character.

Quote #9

His development (or retrogression) was rapid. His muscles became hard as iron, and he grew callous to all ordinary pain. (2.24)

Buck’s adaptation takes its root in the physical changes made to his body.

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