* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Perseverance Theme

Only by sheer determination is our protagonist able to live through the harshness of the wilderness and the sled dog lifestyle. In The Call of the Wild, determination is on a basic level about survival, and on a second level about dominance. Buck is determined to survive, but also to be leader, to complete certain tasks, kill certain creatures, and prove himself to have certain qualities.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. What is the difference between physical and mental determination? Can you have one without the other or not? What about in Buck's case?
  2. Did Buck have all these great qualities of resilience and determination when he started? Or did he acquire them on the way?

Chew on This

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

Buck is differentiated from the other dogs, and especially from Spitz, by his determination.

In the character of Buck, London emphasizes a connection between physical and mental determination.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search