Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Buck, the hero of the story, a dog that is part German Shepherd and part Saint Bernard. Buck is abducted from his home in San Francisco to serve as a sled dog. He is abused cruelly by his first masters, but he adjusts admirably to the elemental life of the Yukon. He has to fight several dogs to maintain his place in the pack, and he is called on to perform several extraordinary feats of endurance and courage. He serves his human masters faithfully, but when his final master dies, Buck answers the call of the wild, forsaking civilization and joining a wolf pack, returning to an instinctual mode of life that always has been an incipient factor in his strength and indomitability.
Spitz, the malevolent head of the pack. He attacks Buck repeatedly, sensing Buck’s fitness to supplant him as the dogs’ leader. Spitz is valued by his masters for his ferocity and intelligence, but the masters concede Buck’s superiority when Buck challenges Spitz to a fight to the death and wins.
Perault, Buck’s first Yukon master, a hard but fair man who acknowledges Buck’s supremacy among the dogs. Perault and Buck drive themselves equally hard, and Perault makes the dogs an extension of his own will.
Francois, Perault’s French-Canadian partner, who predicts that Buck will become a great sled dog, perhaps the finest in the Yukon. He treats...
(The entire section is 511 words.)
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