Jack London's Naturalism Essay

5424 Words Aug 15th, 2010 22 Pages
Jack London's Naturalism:
The Example of The Call of the Wild by Earl J. Wilcox BOTH JACK LONDON'S intentions and his accomplishments in The Call of the Wild account for the artistic success of the book. For the story which London intended to write—about a dog who merely reverts to the wild—developed into a full, 32,000 word novel. And the simplicity intended in the implicit atavism in the dog's reversion also became a more complex discussion than London apparently bargained for. But a fortuitous combination of events led London to produce the most popular and the best piece of fiction he ever wrote. Thus while he gauged his audience accurately in writing a popular account of Darwinian literature, at the same time the novel gave him
…show more content…
Since he is ostensibly concerned with dogs in the naturalism here, however, a brief statement of the plot may be helpful. In simplest terms, Buck, a magnificent dog, lives on Judge Miller's ranch in California. He is kidnapped and taken to Alaska where through numerous hardships and encounters with the “wild” he recognizes his affinity to it and reverts to his primordial state.It is clear that Buck is not precisely one of the pure breed for whom London held greatest respect, because Buck is a cross between a St. Bernard and a Scotch sheperd.4 Still, Buck's pre-eminence, as London later explains, results from the lucky combination of his parents, a familiar philosophical idea emanating from London's views on natural selection. While the Judge is away at a meeting of the Raisin Growers' Association, Buck is stolen by Manuel, a ranch laborer, and sold for fifty dollars to a man who wants to use Buck in the Northern country.In the suggestive initial chapter, “Into the Primitive,” Buck first learns the difference between the “cold” world to which he is being taken and the “warm” world from which he comes. He has not been accustomed to harsh treatment, but being an exceptionally wise dog, he quickly adjusts. In fact, his adjustment and his adaptability become his salvation. Buck's first reaction to rough treatment is in a spirit of rebelliousness. But, London tells his reader before he has gone a dozen

Related Documents