We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

  

by Jack London

The Call of the Wild Analysis

Literary Devices in The Call of the Wild

Symbolism, Imagery, and Allegory

Buck’s dreams of sitting by a fire with some sort of primitive form of man might represent his getting in touch with his past, his ancestry, the great tradition of existing in the harsh wilde...

Setting

The harsh brutalities of the wilderness are a key element to this story: setting the book next to a pool in Miami might not have had the same effect on Buck’s character. It's precisely because he...

Narrator Point of View

It's interesting that London’s narrative revolves so closely around Buck and his thoughts, since Buck is a dog and, you know, not a person. Because the third person narrator goes inside Buck’s...

Genre

There’s danger, hardship, obstacles to overcome, distance to be traveled, and unknown action at every turn—The Call of the Wild is definitely an adventure.But it's also classified as Children's...

Tone

London’s tone is contemplative—he often steps away from plot to comment on the way Buck's learning, how Buck’s character changes, or what the call of the wild surroundings begins to mean to B...

Writing Style

Reading The Call of the Wild can be a strange experience. On the one hand, Jack London gives us these scenes filled with fur, blood, and death. But on the other hand, he gives them to us on a bed o...

What’s Up With the Title?

Buck repeatedly feels this mysterious "call of the wild"—some force telling him that what he really needs to do is leave his current domestic life and hunt things down with his bare paws. And it...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

"Old longings nomadic leap, Chafing at custom's chain; Again from its brumal sleepWakens the ferine strain." The epigraph is taken from "Atavism," a poem by John Myers O’Hara. The fancy-pants wor...

Plot Analysis

Buck leads a calm and contented life in the "sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley."Ah, the life of leisure. Like most initial situations, this is rather boring and unexciting, and begs for Something Fun...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Buck's happy in his home in California.Such a lovely, normal universe, California. Nothing has happened…yet.In this case, a mandatory horn, as Buck's forcefully removed from his home.The horn i...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Buck is stolen from his home of comfort and forced into a life of hard labor as part of a sled team traveling in the frozen North.Buck learns to adapt to his new environment, taking over as leade...

Trivia

London may or may not have committed suicide in 1916. His death was most likely the result of a morphine overdose. (Source)

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement