Struggle For Freedom In Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild

Jack London’s book ‘The Call of the Wild,’ takes place during the time of the gold rush that led many people to search for gold in Canada. Buck’s journey is told as a sled-dog whose popularity increases when gold is discovered. The author uses a variety of ideas that are used to describe Buck’s life. Buck does more difficult things than he is capable of doing, putting his life and safety at risk. The perspective of an individual about life can change through taking risks and seeking freedom.

Jack London uses Buck to illustrate various concepts surrounding Buck’s character. Buck is influenced by his life. The treatment of dogs as domesticated pets that are dependent on humans is obvious. Buck and his fellow dogs play challenging roles in the absence of humans. If the gold-hunters run out of food for the dogs, the dogs will form a gang with Buck as their leader. The author suggests that buck, the older dogs and the new ones were all afraid of their masters because they lacked the ability to guide them. London claims, “Not to mention that they were unable to work the dogs themselves, but also didn’t have any idea how to do so”. If you think about it, it is crazy to think that dogs can do more than humans. They don’t possess the same level of sense that we have.

John Thornton rescues Buck at one point of the narrative and Buck commits himself to John Thornton. Buck is used by the author to illustrate different themes. These themes include the challenges and dangers that Buck faces because of his master’s desire to be wild. Thoronton had Buck freed, but over time his demands on the dog grew and forced him to return to his domesticated state. Buck and his fellow dogs are subjected to harsh conditions and their masters’ demands. The author says, “They were in a sad plight, even though they weren’t pursued”. Buck and other dogs had to live in fear, because their humans did not do what they were supposed to. In fact, they took on tasks beyond their abilities and put their lives at risk.

The author continues to develop the theme as Buck joins the pack of wolves and plans to be their leader. The idea is wild because, in actuality, wolves can be larger and more powerful than dogs. In this case, it is not credible for a wolf to be led by a dog despite the fact that dogs and humans are known to fight each other. In his story, the writer postulates: “Here, there, Buck met dogs from the southland, but primarily, they were wild wolf huskys”. These animals turned Buck into a wild, bloodthirsty dog.

The Call of the Wild is a story that uses both dogs and human characters to explore various topics. Dogs are forced to perform acts that require skills and reasoning, just like humans. They struggle to lead a life that is similar. Buck is the leader dog in the story. The team of dogs are sold to gold seekers who treat them cruelly and put their lives at risk. Jack London’s idea that the dog would leave humans in order to find freedom is used. Dogs are domesticated animals and should therefore be more suited to human care. Buck, however, feels his loss after John Thronton’s death. This distance from civilization makes him feel free. Buck experienced many difficult situations and risked his safety as he searched for freedom. The journey changed his perspective, from being a civilized animal to becoming a bloodthirsty beast. Through taking on risks and seeking joy, an individual’s outlook changes.


  • tobyevans

    Toby Evans is an educational blogger and school teacher who uses her blog to share her ideas and experiences with her students and fellow educators. She is passionate about helping her students learn and grow, and uses her blog as a way to share her knowledge and insights with the world.