Suffering in The Call of the Wild is largely physical. We expect our protagonist to feel a certain level of emotional turmoil after he is taken from his home, but instead his survivalist tendencies kick in. The story becomes one about surviving physical hardships rather than dwelling on thoughts and feelings. Buck endures suffering at the hands of the wilderness (the hard conditions, the freezing cold), other dogs (both in his pack and feral), and man (always in the form of a weapon like a club or a whip). Buck’s suffering, though, is an important part of his character development. The Call of the Wild shows that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
While Buck suffers in many ways on his journeys, hunger, both literal and metaphorical, is the biggest challenge he must overcome.
Although many elements contribute to Buck's reformation, the suffering he undergoes in the wild is ultimately the driving force for his character change.