In The Call of the Wild, why do Perrault and Francois admire Buck?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In The Call Of The Wild, Perrault and Francois admire Buck for his quickness in mastering the responsibilities of a sled dog as well as acclimating to life in the Klondike region of Canada.

Buck's characteristic 'capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions' highlights his inclinations as a fighter and a survivor. Nowhere is this more apparent than in his ability to accommodate himself to the law of the Club and the Fang. Taken from the life of a pampered pooch in the Santa Clara Valley of sunny California to a working life of hardship in the wintry climes of the Klondike region, Buck continues to retain his persistence to survive.

He learns how to steal food and how to eat 'loathsome or indigestible' matter in this unforgiving Canadian terrain. The law of the Club and the Fang has taught him that survival is paramount and that civilized conduct will only lead to degradation and death.

Perrault, a wizened government courier who 'took all manner of risks,' admires the same tenacity in Buck. Both Perrault and Francois' admiration for Buck reaches its zenith after Buck kills Spitz in a gruesome battle. When the two men attempt to put Sol-leks at the head of the dog team, Buck fights for preeminence. He refuses to cower under the clubs but bides his time, circling around and waiting. He will not yield until the men acknowledge his place at the head; Buck feels that his defeat of Spitz has earned him that right.

In the end, the men relent and throw down their clubs; Buck is put at the very front.

At a bound, Buck took up the duties of leadership; and where judgment was required and quick thinking and quick acting, he showed himself the superior even of Spitz, of whom Francois had never seen an equal.

The men note that, with Buck at the helm, a journey which used to take ten days is done in one. Thus, Buck's superior leadership skills and canine instincts earn him the admiration of both Perrault and Francois.

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