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Quotes

Quote #10

All the stiffness and gloss had gone out of his beautiful furry coat. The hair hung down, limp and draggled, or matted with dried blood where Hal's club had bruised him. His muscles had wasted away to knotty strings, and the flesh pads had disappeared, so that each rib and every bone in his frame were outlined cleanly through the loose hide that was wrinkled in folds of emptiness. It was heartbreaking, only Buck's heart was unbreakable. The man in the red sweater had proved that. (5.47)

Although he breaks down physically, Buck’s determination is a mental victory over the challenges he faces.

Quote #11

Buck made no effort. He lay quietly where he had fallen. The lash bit into him again and again, but he neither whined nor struggled. (5.57)

Buck’s decision not to move might represent his noble determination to withstand pain before breaking.

Thought 2: When Buck fails to move upon being beaten, it might signal a failure on his part, as he gives in to the weakness of his body.

Quote #12

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)

Buck’s resilience takes many forms, sometimes a determination to act, sometimes a decision not to act.

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