Illustration of Buck in the snow with mountains in the background

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

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What qualities does each character possess?

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Buck: strong, determined, loyal, honorable, leader

John Thornton: caring, strong, honest, dependable, father-figure, rough-hewn, loving, dedicated, loyal

Dave: hard-working, numb, committed to the job at hand

Spitz: strong, treacherous, sneaky, under-handed, selfish, greedy

Hal, Charles, and Mercedes: ignorant, hard-headed, over their heads, greedy, uncaring, self centered

Francois and Perrault: fair, even handed, hard driving, given to tough love, hardened, hard working, business-like


All of these characters are round in nature. They have good and bad qualities. Additionally, Buck is the most dynamic of all the characters in Call of the Wild. He goes through the most dramatic changes. Initially a rather domesticated dog, his experience of being thrust into the wild of the Yukon, summon within him his truer, more primitive nature. This transformation gets the reader to contemplate the effects that society has on those who live in a controlled setting.

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