The Call of the Wild Questions and Answers
by Jack London

The Call of the Wild book cover
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Explain the title The Call of the Wild?

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Buck, a sled dog in the Alaskan wilderness, is the main protagonist of Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Dogs are considered domesticated animals unprepared for the challenges of surviving on their own without humans to care for them. Their cousins, however, are wild animals and are not easily or wisely domesticated. Those cousins are wolves, and in London's novel, they represent the more primitive form. This is in contrast to Buck, who has been part of a family otherwise composed of humans. Buck, though, straddles a line between the uncivilized, primitive nature of the wolves and the more generally domesticated house pet we commonly associate with the word "dog." Born and raised for the first four years of his life on property owned by Judge Miller and accustomed to living the life of a "sated aristocrat," Buck is nevertheless an animal and of a breed that was commonly bred for laborious activities in remote, austere locations.

Buck's kidnapping radically alters his existence. The...

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