Curly was the victim who was set upon by the rest of the pack when she could not get up on her feet. 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