Illustration of Buck in the snow with mountains in the background

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London
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What does or doesn’t Buck learn when he is caged and being transported?

Expert Answers

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After being dognapped and shoved into a cage aboard a train, Buck immediately learns a very valuable lesson: that, for all his strength and ferocity, he stands no chance against a man with a club. Buck has never come across someone like this before, and his natural instinct is to bite back as hard as he can. But it's all to no avail as one of the men who loads him aboard the train uses his club to subdue the angry dog, whacking him over the head with it and knocking him senseless. Once Buck has come to, he realizes that a man with a club is a lawgiver, a master to be obeyed. Though it's a harsh, brutal lesson, it will stand Buck in good stead out on the trail and help him to develop crucial survival skills.

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