Characterization Of Animals In Jack London's The Call Of The Wild

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The acclaimed author of “The Call of the Wild,” Jack London, has written several stories from the perspective of animals living in the wild. He has received much praise for his unique view on the thoughts and behaviors of animals, but he has also received backlash for this as well. Because of his portrayal of animal thought processes, London has been accused of being a “nature faker,” meaning that he gives human-like characteristics to the animal protagonists of his novels of whom, according to his naysayers, are undeserving of them. Given Jack London’s characterization of the protagonist in “The Call of the Wild,” Buck, and understanding of animal cognition gained through research, Jack London should not be considered a “nature faker” because animals have social intelligence and the ability to reason abstractly. Buck, the protagonist of “The Call of the Wild,” is portrayed as having complex thought processes. This characterization is accurate because dogs have demonstrated the ability to reason abstractly and make …show more content…
The social intelligence and emotions of animals is the basis for Buck’s emotions toward the humans in the story and the other dogs. Dogs have evolved to be able to pick up on humans’ social cues so they could live peacefully with us. (“How Smart Are Animals?”) Being a dog, Buck can be civil with John Thornton and other humans because he has evolved to do so. An example of the social intelligence of animals is an experiment in which two dolphins were asked to work together to create a trick. They were given a short amount of time to confer. Once they were done, they did, in fact, perform a new trick that they had created in that time. (“How Smart Are Animals?”) The dolphins’ ability to work together toward a common goal shows that dogs, too, can work together towards the goal of driving the sled without being forced because of a shared desire to do

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