In The Call of the Wild, how is John Thornton different from Buck's previous masters? Why is he an ideal master?

John Thornton is different from Buck's previous masters in that he genuinely loves Buck, takes good care of him, and is not selflessly interested in profiting off him. John Thornton also respects Buck, develops a meaningful bond with him, and expresses his admiration for Buck on a daily basis, which is why he is the ideal master.

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Although John Thornton is Buck's master, their relationship is that of equals who respect one another. When Thornton stops Hal from beating Buck, his own behavior is rather like that of a dog protecting his master (or a weaker dog). He gives a cry "that was inarticulate and more like the cry of an animal" before springing furiously at Hal and standing over Buck "struggling to control himself, too convulsed with rage to speak."

"If you strike that dog again, I’ll kill you," he at last managed to say in a choking voice.

The urbane and genial Judge Miller would certainly be disgusted by Hal's treatment of his dog but would never be viscerally moved to defend Buck with such ferocity. Perrault and François are tolerable masters by most standards, but they regard Buck chiefly as an asset and an investment. Hal, Charles, and Mercedes represent the nadir of Buck's fortunes. They are vicious and stupid, treating Buck appallingly and endangering his life along with their own.

Thornton and Buck...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 961 words.)

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