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Analysis

The man by the fire

Symbolism, Imagery, 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 wilderness, of loyalty between dog and master, of the hunt, of darkness, and so on. His visions increase in intensity as the novel progresses, suggesting there’s some sort of change going on in Buck. Well, yes, there is the obvious outer change as his body hardens and he grows stronger, but we’re also talking about the shift in his desires as he comes to long for the full moon howling routine more than the chewing slippers routine.

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