Call of the WildWhere did man come from?Scientists thought they had answered thissimple yet complex question through Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. According to him, living organisms evolved due to constant changing. Organismswhich gained an edge would reign, while those without would die. Jack London’sbooks during the late 1800’s animated this theory through the use of wildanimals in a struggle for survival. In fact, many prove that to survive aspecies “must” have an edge.
In London’s book the Call of the Wild, the harshdepiction of the Klondike wilderness proves that to survive life must adapt. London uses Buck as his first character to justify his theory as heconforms well to the hostile North. While at Judge Miller’s, pampered Bucknever worries about his next meal or shelter; yet while in the frozen Klondikehe has death at his heels. Until his body adapts to the strenuous toil of thereins, Buck needs more food than the other dogs.
He must steal food from hismasters in order to conform. If Buck continues his stealthy work he willsurvive. A second example occurs when Thorton owns Buck, and Spitz, the leaddog, constantly watches the team in a dominant manner. Buck, if insubordinate,runs the risk of death.
He lays low, learning Spitz’s every tactic. Buckadapts to circumstances until finally he strikes against Spitz in a fight forthe dominant position. By killing Spitz, he gains a supreme air, and in turnan adaptation against the law of the fang. A third example surfaces duringBuck’s leadership.
The fledgling dog, to Francios and Perrault, cannot work upto par for the lead. So Buck conducts himself as a master sled dog, reachingFrancios and Perrault’s goals, conforming to the team. The group plows throughsnow reaching at least forty miles a day. The dogs spend at most two weeks inthe wild Klondike. In a way Buck heightens the safety of each person and dog. He adapts to the environment and new position.
Within the Call of the Wild,Buck must have a part to justify London’s theory. In the novel London uses Mercedes, Hal, and Charles, a group of veryinexperienced and even less equipped city goers, to depict the probable doom ofthose who do not adapt. While in Skagway the three have no idea what theKlondike holds. The well dressed well fed team wants nothing but riches andfame. In their effort for time they purchase the now exhausted dog team,which Buck leads, to take them to Dawson. Even during the beginnings of theirjourney they show their inevitable doom.
Mercedes, the most hardheaded of thebunch parks load after load on the sled. Onlookers laugh at the sight, tellingthe group that the sled will tip. In their arrogance the warning goes withoutnotice, soon to find the now moving sled strewn across the street. The nextincident proves their stubbornness to adapt to the environment. After manyweeks of toil Charles, Hal, and Mercedes reach White river, where they findThorton, a mail courier with frost bite. The team drops dead in the traces.
Hal’s philosophy pertains to the use of the whip. Beating after beating occursbut the team does not get up. Buck, the lead dog, gets the brunt of the attackuntil Thorton steps in. He fights Hal and wins Buck.
So the beaten Hal moveson, not heeding Thorton’s warning of thin ice. Their doom arrives in a tumultof ice and water. All of the team dies in the cold murky lake. These threecharacters show a second side of adaptation that is very true. Thorton and Buck reach a final adaptation in their quest for fortune,which creates the man and beast which rise above all. John Thorton askedlittle of man or nature.
During the search for the hidden treasure mineThorton travels in no hurry. He ventures Indian fashion, hunting food with hishands, using his cunning to overcome. If he fails, Thorton keeps on travelingknowing that eventually he will find food. Thorton has adapted, and now he hasthe power to fend off the wilderness.Buck also reaches his own acme whichcreates the super being.After Thorton’s death a pack of wolves attacks Buck.He holds his ground crippling dog after dog.By using primitive instincts, hiskiller instincts, Buck does not fall.Rather he destroys the others until theyare to tired to fight.The victory makes