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Jack Londons The Call of the Wild - Book Report/Review Example

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Jack Londons The Call of the Wild

Buck learned one of the most valuable lessons in his life which the narrator records as; 'The scene often came back to Buck to trouble him in his sleep. So that was the way. No fair play. Once down, that was the end of you. Well, he would see to it that he never went down.' (London 13). This is an allegory on Social Darwinism. Buck's survival depends on himself as his environment practices a system of laissez faire. He transforms to survive.
Buck learns to steal food to compensate for his meager rations. The narration says; ' It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death. It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence.'(London 16). Buck steals food from his species and man alike. It is his competition for survival. When Buck steals food from his fellow compatriots, he is competing within his society of dogs. Buck competes with the different society of man too. This illustrates Social Darwinism.
Buck retains his inherent genes which are unchanged with the passage of timeless generations. This is evidence that London supports neo-Darwinism. The narration says; 'They (the ancestors) quickened the old life within him, and the old tricks which they had stamped into the heredity of the breed were his tricks.' (London 17). However, London contradicts himself when he writes that; 'His (Buck's) newborn cunning gave him poise and control.'(London 17). Buck's newborn cunning has evolved by the process of Social Darwinism in responses to his social environment.
Buck shows his hereditary traits in the hunt for the snowshoe rabbit. The narration says; 'All that stirring of old instincts which at stated periods drives men out from the sounding cities to forest and plain to kill things by chemically propelled leaden pellets, the blood lust, the joy to kill--all this was Buck's, only it was infinitely more intimate.' (London 24). This supports neo-Darwinism because it says that the hereditary genes remain unchanged and the trait presents itself when the opportunity arises. When Buck and Spitz become engaged in a final fight, Buck 'seemed to remember it all,--the white woods, and
earth, and moonlight, and the thrill of battle. Over the whiteness and silence brooded a ghostly calm.'(London 25). It is like a feeling of dj vu for Buck. The memory flashback came from Curly's death. Buck is determined to overcome his arch enemy and he does.
Buck's ancestor was a wolf-like creature. Neo-Lamarckism would suggest that the dog's wild ancestor experienced changes after rehabilitation with humans and this dog then passed down its changes by natural selection. Buck is accustomed to his work and takes pride working with man and dogs. When Spitz is eliminated, the men choose Sol-leks to be the leader but Buck refuses to let the sled run. The narrative says; 'But Buck was in open revolt. He wanted, not to escape a clubbing, but to have the leadership. It was his by right. He had earned it, and he would not be content with less.' (London 27). This shows that Buck's civilized pride encourages him to serve man. Spitz is Buck's ...Show more


The Call of the Wild was written by Jack London in 1903. It is presented as a story on Social Darwinism, showing Buck's evolution of biological traits by natural selection being applied when he is placed into the environment where the physical struggle of the fittest to survive is superseded with the internal struggle for power, leadership and respect…
Author : arloabbott
Jack Londons The Call of the Wild
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