What are 3 of the major causes that led to Buck's devolution to becoming a "mythic ghost dog" in The Call of the Wild?I only have one example which is when he killed the Yeehats with the last bit...

What are 3 of the major causes that led to Buck's devolution to becoming a "mythic ghost dog" in The Call of the Wild?

I only have one example which is when he killed the Yeehats with the last bit of liking towards humanity until he finally became the mythic ghost dog that he is right now. Thanks for your guys' help!

Asked on by pgms1234

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Buck regresses for a few reasons.  First of all, he is badly mistreated by people and loses his trust in them.  Then he kills Spitz in a fight to the death, which leads him closer to his inner primordial beast.  Finally, when the Yeehats kill John Thornton, the last dregs of civilization leave Buck.

When Buck is stolen and sold to the sleds of Alaska, he has to learn how to live again.  He loses his trust for humans, and has to learn how to survive with other dogs.  He learns that the law of club and fang is all that matters, and the only way to survive is to be strong.

And Buck was merciless. He had learned well the law of club and fang, and he never forewent an advantage or drew back from a foe he had started on the way to Death. (ch 6, p. 36)

During the fight with Spitz, Buck becomes the Alpha dog.  This leadership role cements his position among the dogs, as opposed to men.  He is becoming more and more animal.  Even John Thornton is never able to completely domesticate him again.

But in spite of this great love he bore John Thornton, which seemed to bespeak the soft civilizing influence, the strain of the primitive, which the Northland had aroused in him, remained alive and active. (ch 6, p. 36)

Finally, the death of John Thorton is indeed what sets him over the edge.  He descends into his rage, and becomes one with his ancient primordial beast. 

A gust of overpowering rage swept over him. He did not know that he growled, but he growled aloud with a terrible ferocity. For the last time in his life he allowed passion to usurp cunning and reason, and it was because of his great love for John Thornton that he lost his head. (ch 7, p. 47)

Buck gets his revenge, but his transformation is complete.  He will never be a pet again.  He will answer the call of the wild once and for all.

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