Call of The Wild Literary Analysis
Mr. Fitzsimmons Class
Releasing the Primordial Beast
“The dominant primordial beast was strong in Buck, and under the fierce conditions of trail life it grew and grew.”
— Jack London
Spitz comes out of nowhere and is practically on Bucks back, they are neck and neck and Buck tries to bite Spitz, he misses. As they ferociously chase the rabbit both Buck and Spitz stop staring into each other’s souls as if reading their life stories. There is dead quiet after the rabbit is devoured by the other dogs. The dogs formed a circle around Buck and Spitz and waited for showdown of a lifetime to begin. In this scene in The Call Of The Wild, Jack London describes that Buck does whatever it take to survive including releasing the primordial beast that truly shows the call of the wild:
Primal instincts, something we all have but rarely unleash. In the book The Call Of The Wild, by Jack London, Buck goes from being a lazy house dog to a strong, relentless and resilient wild beast capable of primal things. Buck’s process of devolution starts in a large house in California and ends in the Canadian wilderness thousands of miles away from where his journey had started. Buck had already been through hell. He was taken from his home, sold to a strange man, shipped up to Seattle on a train and is now in a strange dog yard run by a man in a red sweater. The men who brought him here brought him over to another man to discuss a transaction. Buck was still muzzled and locked up so that he couldn’t do anything. The man in the (red coat) ended the transaction with the men that had brought Buck and opened the crate Buck was in. Buck immediately jumped out and attacked the man with the (red sweater).
“And Buck was truly a red-eyed devil, as he drew himself together for the spring, hair bristling, mouth foaming, a mad glitter in his blood-shot eyes. Straight at the man he launched his one hundred and forty pounds of fury, surcharged with the pent passion of two days and nights. In mid air, just as his jaws were about to close on the man, he received a shock that checked his body and brought his teeth together with an agonizing clip. He whirled over, fetching the ground on his back and side. He had never been struck by a club in his life, and did not understand. With a snarl that was part bark and more scream he was again on his feet and launched into the air.”
(London, Chapter one).
Buck truly shows the red-eyed devil inside of him in this passage. The primordial beast is such an important theme inside this book because of how consistently it is showed. Throughout Bucks entire devolution from pet to wild dog he showed pure primal instinct in the fact that he did what was necessary to survive and succeed. Thousands of miles pulling a heavy sled is an impossible task for a dog still accustom to his human ways, Buck was able to do this by reaching deep inside himself and pulling something out so primal that even his mushers were amazed by his natural talent and instincts. It is truly amazing to read and understand the process Buck went through to unleash the primordial beast inside him which many dogs and men have feared. Although Buck became so primal that he forgot his humanity, though he was still able to love a master that treated him well. To survive Buck needed his primal instincts, but the decisions buck made to keep himself alive were not always primal.