Theme Of Death In The Call Of The Wild

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Death in Frigid Alaska
In The Call of the Wild written by Jack London, set during the Alaskan Klondike gold rush of 1897, death is a common theme throughout the book. The Call of the Wild is a story about Buck, a farm dog, who is kidnapped from his home in Santa Clara Valley and forced to work as a sled dog up north in Alaska for the Klondike gold rush. In The Call of the Wild there are many hardships these dogs must face in the Alaskan wilderness. Some of the hardships they had to go through were hunger due to lack of food, the cold and frigid temperatures of Alaska, and lack of rest due to having to make very long trips in a certain time frame, abusive owners, and other dogs in fights for dominance. Some of the deaths that were results of
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Curly is a good natured and friendly dog who knows nothing about surviving in the wild. For example this quote, “They were camped near the log store, where she, in her friendly way, made advances to a husky dog the size of a full-grown wolf, though not half so large as she. There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly’s face was ripped open from eye to jaw” (London 14-15) shows that she was too friendly and trusting for her own good. It was this that lead to Curly’s death. Curly’s actual death happened not long after the little fight as mentioned in the above quote. In fact Heidi Kelchner says, ¨The dogs fight like wolves, and when one is downed, the pack moves in for the kill. Buck watches one of his shipmates being torn to pieces after he loses a fight, and he never forgets the way one dog in particular, Spitz, watches sly-eyed as the loser is slashed to ribbons. Spitz is Buck’s enemy from that time on¨(Kelchner 1). When Francois and three other men were able to get the dogs off of Curly a couple of minutes after she went down, “ she lay there limp and lifeless in the bloody, trampled snow, almost literally torn to pieces” (London 15). The reason Curly’s death is important is because it shows what happens to those who do not learn to survive in the wild quickly, …show more content…
This is mentioned in this quote “ Spitz, the ferocious lead dog of the sled team, whom Buck kills in a struggle for supremacy” (Brucker 8). Spitz was a “milestone” for Buck on his journey through Alaska, Buck and Spitz have a deep hatred for each other and Buck tries to do all he can to defy Spitzś orders. He even convinces the other dogs to rebel at one point. By killing Spitz, Buck shows how much he has grown as seen in this quote of their fight, “Then Buck took to rushing, as though for the throat, when, suddenly drawing back his head and curving in from the side, he would drive his shoulder at the shoulder of Spitz, as a ram by which to overthrow him” (London 39). Before, Buck could not fend him off, much less kill him. Buck has grown much from the sheltered dog of Santa Clara Valley to a warrior of the wild. He has become the champion as it is said, “Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good” (London 40). After Spitz´s death Buck becomes the lead dog of the sled team. He gets in a small fight with Francois and Perrault, his owners at the time, when they try to give the lead position to another dog by the name of Sol-leks, ¨The driver went about his work, and he called Buck when he was ready to put him in his old place in front of Dave. Buck

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