In Jack London's novel, The Call of the Wild, compare and contrast Buck and Spitz's leadership.

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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in Jack London's novel, The Call of the Wild, Spitz and Buck are quite different animals.  Spitz is the acknowledged leader of the team, enforcing his dominance of the other dogs.  Buck, the stronger and more imaginative of the two, decides to challenge Spitz for the leadership of the team.  Buck begins to undermine Spitz's leadership in every way he can including backing up other dogs who challenge Spitz in any way.  The team finally is falling apart with Spitz unable to bring his rule of the team back into place.  When a rabbit appears and the team chases it, Buck catches it and Spitz challenges him for the prize.  Buck refuses to give up the rabbit and the fight to the death is on. Buck finally brings Spitz down, and the other dogs kill Spitz.  Buck has had to learn the ways of the wild, to learn how to sleep at night so that he doesn't freeze, to learn how to steal food to survive.  He has had to learn everything he knows and that is the difference between Spitz and Buck.  Spitz does what he is asked to do and does it with forceful dominance.  Buck has learned cunning, and while he does what he is asked, he watches, waits, and looks for an opportunity while enforcing his authority as the leader of the team.


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