Civilization and the wild In The Call of the Wild

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Ed Yong once explained, all domestic dogs evolved from a group of wolves that came into contact with European hunter-gatherers (Yong). As shocking as it is, every domestic canine people own today has originated from wild wolves. Although it’s less clear in small dogs who could not ever fend for themselves, every dog has derived from ancestors who lived thousands of years ago.

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As dogs discover their wild side and their domestic side begins to fade, difficulties arise and they must adapt to their situation. In The Call of the Wild, London explores the many factors that explain what draws animals into nature and uses themes of deciding between civilization or the wild, fighting for survival and remembering ancestors’ memories.

Throughout the novel, Buck is at a perpetual battle between his civil and wild sides. He leads two particularly unalike lives which do not go unchallenged throughout the novel. When he is first introduced, Buck is a house pet who enjoys a leisurely life with Judge Miller, while his transition into nature is challenging and extremely arduous. London states that deep in the forest a call was sounding (London 60). Throughout the story Buck is revealed to have an attraction to the wilderness that he has a difficult time resisting. As the days go by, he is continuously tempted to enter the wild. It is clear that Buck has a gradual transformation from a domesticated dog to a wild one (The Call, Novels). When the novel ends, Buck becomes totally absorbed into the natural world. (Moss). Buck’s temptation to leave civilization and enter the wild does not seem to come to an end.

Buck is forced to accept his longing to be free and accept his current place in civilization. He must accommodate to an entirely new way of life and code of conduct to survive (The Call, Novels). Learning The law of club and fang marks a massive transition in Buck’s life. He is forced to realize that those with the greatest physical strength are superior to everyone else. After living an easygoing life, he is has to accept that he stands no chance against a man with a club (London 12). Once he has become aware of his low position in the hierarchy, he begins adapting, and eventually loses his ethical nature. He begins stealing food and finding ways around the rules set in place for him to follow. London illustrates that the completeness of his de-civilization was now evidenced by ability to flee from the defense of a moral consideration and so save his hide (Mann). He then becomes resilient and extremely strong. Buck eventually fights the lead dog Spitz, and he wins the highest position on the team, proving that he is becoming familiarized to his place in a domestic group.

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