What Are You Reading? – January 2015

Original Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/aadl/

Welcome back to the What Are You Reading? Series! If you have no idea what’s going on feel free to take a look at the introductory post.  Don’t forget at the end of the post to let me know your own thoughts and interpretations of the book. [Please note that if you haven’t commented before I recommend reading the Commenting Guidelines.] 

And today’s book is……. *Drum roll*

Call of the Wild

Author: Jack London

Genre: Adventure Fiction

Originally Published: 1903


This story follows the journey of the lap dog Buck as he is captured and sold to a dogsled runner. At first he is weak and unable to keep going, but as the story continues he fights for survival and his strength, becoming leader of the pack.

My First Thoughts:

Oh yeah! I remember this from middle school! (Nope. I got it confused with White Fang.) To be honest, after reading this I hugged my dogs a little tighter. They proceeded to follow me around the house because they thought I was leaving.

My Analysis:

When you read through this story, you are sent through a dull wave of emotions at first. You feel Bucks highs and lows as you would with any other main character of a story but it is through the eyes of a creature that processes things much differently than the reader does. He’s a dog, a very cautious one at that.

From surface to core though, this is a story about how we all retain a connection to our ancestors no matter how detached we want to seem. It’s that part of us that is wild and protects us when in fear. Buck’s journey is one filled with fear, confusion, courage, pain, weariness, death, joy, and love; however, it is his journey that reconnects him to the past, shown through his dreams of the caveman and later his connection to the wolf pack.

It is also a story of detachment. At first he is a pampered, dutiful dog, then broken and forced into a form of canine servitude that included the abuse that “broke” him. It isn’t until his final human owner that he feels a sense of safety or love, and with that owners death he is truly released to become a wolf of the wild. His journey is where he detaches from his domestication and in turn with that of humanity.

But now, Buck is nowhere near the same dog as before and it makes me wonder something.

Which Buck is really the “broken” one? The dutiful domesticated dog? The sled dog, weary from his travels? The loved dog, willing to do anything for his master? Or the wolf he finally became?

Let me know your thoughts on this story and the possible answers in the comments. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

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