What picture does the narrator paint of the man in Buck's dream?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At various points in the book, especially in Chapters 4 and 7, Buck dreams of a man from the distant past.  Buck especially tends to do this when his life is going well and he is in a dominant position.  In these dreams, he is being taken back to a time when (according to London, at least) dogs and humans were first living together.

The narrator paints a picture of a "man" who is barely human.  He is clearly not simply an animal in that he can make weapons (he has a club with a stone head) and clothes.  But he is also clearly not a modern human.  He is described in Chapter 4 as having shorter legs and longer arms and bigger muscles -- more like an ape than humans are today.  He is very hairy.  In Chapter 7 he can even brachiate -- swing from branch to branch in trees.

In other words, the narrator paints a picture of a very primitive human being who is much more like an ape than modern humans are.