If you had been travling with Charles, Hal, and Mercedes, would you have listened to Jonh Thornton? Why or why not?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Jack London's "Call of The Wild," the reader is introduced to many characters that come and go in Buck's life.  None of these characters is filled with more hubris or arrogance than Charles, Hal, and Mercedes.  They are from the lower 48 states and they decide to join the rush to Alaska.  They buy Buck and the other dogs.  The dogs are sick and exhausted from the long trip they just completed.  These people don't know wha they are doing and during their trip they make mistake after mistake.  They push too hard, they cut the dog's rations, they don't give the dogs time to rest and they are warned by several people not to continue because the trail could give way at any time.

The three wander into Thornton's camp.  They ask his opinion and when he tells them not to try to cross the river because the ice is too thin, they go anyway.  If I was blind and dumb enough to have been traveling with these three characters, I probably would not have listened to Thornton either.  I probably would have gone along with what my traveling companions wanted to do.  However, if your are asking should I listen to John Thornton, then, the answer is yes.  Thornton was giving them solid advice.  He was experienced and knew the area well.  He knew the Spring thaw was likely to break through the ice and it was dangerous.  They didn't listen and paid the price with their lives.

"Through their ignorance, lack of sense, and cruelty, they starve the dogs and nearly work them to death. When they travel on a precarious river trail, they crash through the ice to their deaths."

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The Call of the Wild

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