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The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild


by Jack London

The Call of the Wild Theme of Knowledge and Wisdom

In The Call of the Wild, the protagonist gains new knowledge which allows him to adapt to his surrounding. Adaptation in this novel is necessary for survival. When our protagonist is tossed into a new world of harsh conditions and unforgiving men, he needs to learn how to do his job, how to coexist with the other dogs, and how to live while many others die from the conditions. The adaptation we see is physical, mental, and spiritual as Buck is toughened and strengthened by the world around him.

Questions About Knowledge and Wisdom

  1. What is the most important characteristic Buck develops as he adapts?
  2. How much of Buck's changes are the result of his experiences, and how much is just because he's Buck? For example, the other Southland dogs can't do what he does. What makes Buck so special?
  3. What does Buck gain as he grows and learns, and what does he lose? Maybe not all of the changes he undergoes are positive.

Chew on This

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

Along his travels in the frozen North, Buck at first resists adaptation, clinging to the life he knows, but he later embraces change wholeheartedly.

Buck's "adaptation" to the wild is inevitable, as it is a reversion to his natural state.

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