In the novel, The Call of the Wild, why doesn't London write "gold" in the first paragraph instead of "yellow metal" which focuses on the color?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, the author uses simple descriptions and nature's laws. Describing the gold which has monetary meaning about wealth, London describes it as a "yellow metal"  which keeps the monetary value or civilization's value away from  what is truly a metal dug out of the earth.  This description keeps the focus on the metal as a substance of the earth and places no value on it in terms of the dog and his kidnappers.  The men who take Buck are only stealing a dog for someone else, not taking the dog for themselves as they are not seeking gold. The "yellow metal" simply explains why the dog is being taken and doesn't allow the emotions which the word "gold" would evoke in the reader.