The Call of the Wild was written by Jack London. It was first serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1903 and was an instant hit. The novel is about the relationship between humans and nature, the power of love, nature versus civilization, and the adventure of the dog – Buck.
One of keys contributed to the success of the story of Buck and his transformation at the end of the novel is application of some main elements, especially plot, character, setting, point of view and theme.
Maybe, nobody think that Jack London was accused of plagiarizing. However, The Guardian (2014) had shown that a famous journalist proved that “no other popular writer of his time did any better writing than you will find in The Call of the Wild… Here, indeed, are all the elements of sound fiction: clear thinking, a sense of character, the dramatic instinct, and, above all, the adept putting together of words – words charming and slyly significant, words arranged, in a French phrase, for the respiration and the ear”. This opinion is a right statement. With an individual style of Jack London created a strong impact on both the story and the readers.
After reading the story, I realized that the title of the story is one of special factors which I impress. The Call of the Wild contains intentions of the author. Initially, Buck was a pet being closed and took care of in a family. However, after selling, Buck had to face to a series of owners and solve a lot of problems.
After the last owner – John Thornton who gave his love was dead, he came back to the wild with the primitive characteristics as a golf. The title refers to the urge of the novel’s protagonist. And it also implied that a wild dog will return to its real nature as Buck to return to the primordial state of his wolf ancestors.
On the one hand, plot and setting are indispensable to the novel. They also play an important role contributing to the grow-up of Buck, climax of the story. Because this is a long novel, it includes a series different situations and complications with many conflicts at various time and places. In this work, the author made a multi-dimensional change of the main character-Buck.
Especially, I think that Jack London was so skillful when he created a series of events showing a step by step of the Buck’s growth. Buck’s maturity was also a change of story, of the dramatic incidents. Jack London built Buck’s character through lessons of his own survival struggle. At every moment, Buck showed the characteristics of his nature-a wild dog.
This grow-up was considered as amount of lessons that Buck had gained as well as adaptation to noncivilized life. For example, in chapter 1, Buck was a pet of the Judge family. He lived in a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. He thought he was “king-king over all creeping, crawling, flying things” and he had lived “the life of a sated aristocrat”. He did not care about others dog.
However, a big incident happened to Buck, and it completely changed his life-Buck was sold. From that he had a series of different owners and new experiences. With the man wore a red sweater, after struggling against him, Buck learn the first lesson “be a good dog and all’ll go well and the goose hang high” and “no chance against a man with a club”. After that the plot changed when Buck met new owners- Perrault and Francois, this was not only a change but also one of a stepping stone for Buck’s maturity.
In this period, Buck started to have new experiences in the forest. He learned the law of club and fang, know to work, sleep and eat well. Buck had to adapt to survival in the Northland, as the author wrote “it marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to change conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death”.
Or in chapter 3, the author changed the setting, he chose the forest as a place he had to compete with other dogs, wolf so that all the events further facilitated Buck to show his inherent instincts. Moreover, in the late incidents, the author used of settings could help the reader know more about Buck’s attitude about the human and the world.
In the later chapters, Buck also had to meet new owners, but the most special owners he had a great love was John Thornton. John Thornton’s saving of Buck’s life from Hal’s cruelty which is an event reached to climax. And then Jack London created falling action that was the time Buck lived with Thornton and the last falling was the death of Thornton. The death was one of the main events contributed directly to Buck’s transformation.
On the other hand, villain building was a way that Jack London sketched his main character-Buck more clearly. These villains such as red sweater, Hal, Spitz, were a mandatory element that forced Buck to change and reveal his nature. Besides, with the main theme of the novel which are the laws of civilization and of wilderness, the power of love and inspiration, the power of instinct and the relationship between human and the nature made the novel become more interesting and meaningful.
Moreover, The Call of the Wild is a novel was told by the author-the third-person point of view (narrator), so we can know what Bucks thinks and feels. However, with the point of view, it can be omniscient and difficult to understand more about the inner feelings and internal conflicts of Buck.
The Call of the Wild is one of the most interesting I have read. It shows me the power of the instinct, love and passion. Although, Buck is a domesticated prize dog, as the effete pet, he is still loyalty, he has love for his owners. Besides, the way Jack London creating the plot, setting and characters makes me interested. At the same time, this way not only contributes to Buck’s transformation at the end of the novel but also creates a strong impact on the readers.