John Griffith "Jack" London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. Some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life". He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen", and of the San Francisco Bay area in The Sea Wolf. London was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers. He wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, and The War of the Classes.
Other novels by Jack London, White Fang, The Sea-Wolf, The Iron Heel
Original owner, Judge Miller, Manuel
First proper masters in the north, Francois, Perrault
New masters, Hal, Mercedes, Charles
Final master, John Thornton
The theme of any literary work is the base topic or focus that acts as a foundation for the entire literary piece. The theme links all aspects of the literary work with one another and is basically the main subject. The theme can be an enduring pattern or motif throughout the literary work, occurring in a complex, long winding manner or it can be short and succinct and provide a certain insight into the story.
The Indispensable Struggle for Mastery
The Power of Ancestral Memory and Primitive Instincts
The Laws of Civilization and of Wilderness
The Membership of the Individual in the Group
A symbol is literary device that contains several layers of meaning, often concealed at first sight, and is representative of several other aspects, concepts or traits than those that are visible in the literal translation alone. Symbol is using an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning.
Buck’s First Beatings with the Club; Curly’s Death
Buck’s Attack on the Yeehats
A motif can be seen as an image, sound, action or other figures that have a symbolic significance and contributes toward the development of theme.
Novel, Animal Fiction
1890s, Klondike Gold Rush
American Pastoralism, The mythic hero returns to nature
The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog, he reverts to atavistic traits. Buck is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments and fight to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts and lessons he learns, to emerge as a leader in the wild.
First cinematic adaption, 1908, The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon
toil, work hard
kindred, similar in quality or character
treachery, an act of deliberate betrayal
loathsome, causing or able to cause nausea
primeval, having existed from the beginning
transient, lasting a very short time
array, impressive display
Buck leads a calm and contented life in the "sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley."
Buck is stolen by Manuel and sold to the man in the red sweater.
Spitz and Buck clash and compete for alpha dog status.
Buck’s sled team (minus Buck) crashes through thin ice and drowns.
John Thornton almost dies. Then he actually does die.
Buck leaves the civilized world.
Buck answers the Call of the Wild.