The Power Of Hardship
The Call Of The Wild Reflection

The Call of the Wild

Harrison Bertos

Literary Analysis 

Fitz 9th Grade English



Intelligence Leads to Leadership 





By Harrison Bertos 





“At a bound Buck took up the duties of leadership, and where judgment was required, and quick thinking and quick acting he showed himself superior even of Spitz, of whom Franois had never seen an equal.” -Jack London

     A team without a leader is no team.  In the action-packed novel Call of The Wild. Buck the dog, the main character. Is taken away from his great life to a life in the snowy wilderness. Buck is sent with a pack of dogs up north in Canada. During this time, Buck takes it upon himself to lead this pack of dogs. Buck witnesses terrible scenes of dogs being wild.  Buck transitions from a ranch dog to sled dog in a matter of months. Buck goes from getting dog treats to pulling 1000 pound sleds up a mountain. In chapter two of the book, the sled team was in the middle of their travels when some in the group were dying. They were sick and didn’t have enough food to become healthy again.  Buck had to help them, he jumped down and helped his friend rest. When Buck heard another dog doing his work, he couldn’t let that happen. Right after he helped his friend. he got back up to work. Buck would adapt to his environment and become the strongest dog to ever live. This was a beautiful book, it taught me many new things about life and academics. It taught me, that if you work hard enough at something, you will become better at it. 


 Dave resented being taken out, grunting and growling while the traces were unfastened, and whimpering broken-heartedly when he saw Sol-leks in the position he had held and served for so long. For the pride of trace and trail was his, and, sick unto death, he could not bear that another dog should do his work.”[Chapter 6 in Jack London’s The Call of the Wild.] 


    In Jack London’s book The Call Of The Wild, he puts a lot of meaning behind the word leadership. When Buck is sent up north in Canada, he transitions from a house dog to a leader in the Wilderness of Canada. Buck, at the beginning of his journey, is a ranch dog, Buck gets taken from his house and is taken up north to Canada. The scenes that Buck notices while in the snowy winter evolve him into a leader of the Wild.  Buck, when he arrives in Canada is a lost dog. Buck is not used to the Wilderness. Buck witnesses dogs being eaten alive, getting whipped, the harsh conditions etc. Buck throughout his time in Canada is able to adapt to the crazy state he’s in.  Buck becomes and a dog that is a savage and he releases a different side of him. Buck feels like needs to lead the pack if they want to be successful. Buck takes it upon himself to overtake the lead dog Spitz.  Buck masters, or comes to dominate his fellow dogs by learning, or mastering, survival skills. He receives instruction from the other sled dogs about how to work in the traces and learns lessons, like burying himself in the snow to keep warm, or deferring to man's authority when that man wields a heavy club. Buck feels like he has to everything possible to lead the pack. He will not let anyone else do his work because he feels like he has responsibilities that he needs to fulfill. Buck is also a leader of Thornton, Thornton feels bad for a dog like Buck. Buck  is seen being whipped and torture . Thorton and Buck leave the camp and go on a journey. While they’re on the journey they are attacked by the Yeehats. Buck is able to kill them. This leads us to believe that Buck has now mastered men and animals. Buck has not only mastered the ways of the wild but his own fate. Leadership is something special, if you take it for granted and dont use it, you will lose it.  You won’t ever, be able to lead if you don’t adapt.

     If you adapt, you will become something special. In the novel Call of the Wild, Buck is taken away from his brilliant life as a ranch dog and taken into the Wilderness of snowy Canada. Buck, when he arrives, is not used to the wild, he doesn’t like it all the doubts he’s going to survive and struggles. Buck learns many lessons about survival, how to live, and many scenes that make him adapt to the wilderness. In chapter 6, Buck sees how much different it is up in Canada. Buck is puzzled, he notices all the dogs are savages. He was disgusted at the fact that the dogs were fighting and he realizes that his life is going anywhere but to paradise

     "He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial. No lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety... All was confusion and action, and every moment life and limb were in peril...They were savages, all of them, who knew no law but the law of club and fang. He had never seen dogs fight as these wolfish creatures fought, It is true, it was a vicarious experience, else he would not have lived to profit by it." [Chapter 6 in Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild ]

     Buck is able to adapt to the lifestyle of a beast in the Wild from a little dog on a ranch in a matter of months. Buck becomes physically devolved. He witnesses scenes during his time in Canada that change him, they make him adapt to the state he’s in. Buck's development is like an evolving organism, Buck sheds characteristics ill-suited to his environment and takes advantage of traits that help him thrive. These traits helped Buck adapt to his environment, this is why he became so powerful. Buck had feral instincts, he became less pet-like and more wolf-like—his soft paws toughened for icy conditions, his body strengthened by doing work in the traces, he gains endurance against the pain of the club and the lash of the whip, and his bloodlust for live prey increases. These traits were vital to Buck's adaptation into the Wild. These traits made Buck who he is, Buck was able to overthrow Spitz and kill him. He was able to lead a whole pack of wild dogs throughout the cold wilderness. He was able to pull a 1000 pound weight up a mountain to bring him to his freedom and killing all of the Yeehats. Buck showed everyone he was stronger than man. All he needed to do was adapt, and the rest was history. Adaption is key, if you always embrace something, you might just succeed. 


    “Be willing to change because life won’t stay the same”. The Call of the Wild challenged me to learn about different types of themes of leadership and adaption, it was one of my favorite books I’ve ever read because it made more engaged than ever. While reading this book,the difficult vocabulary confused me. Words like demesne, confined, and others are not words that I have heard in my existence. This made me re-read and rethink and revisit the themes of the plot, it made me intrigued to read more about the action-packed novel. While reading this book, I would usually start around eleven o’clock.  Sitting there watching the Sox hearing Tony Mazarattii call strike after strike and listening to my brother screaming every second, “Mom, let me buy the skin!”. It was tough to find types of leadership. I adapted to the hardship of the words but was only getting a sense about every page. After several times of reading the same pages over and over, I started to absorb the themes. This book might’ve given me headaches, but it’s one of the most interesting and informative books I’ve ever read. I will never stop thinking about leadership and adaption, because I see how important it is to life. 

     Before we started reading The Call of the Wild, I was not intrigued. The number of essays and comma rules work we would have to do made me say “ugh”. Now that I have finally understood the novel, I realized you have to work at it. Without the repetitive pages I read, I would’ve never had comprehended that I was just like Buck. The leadership and adaption within me can and will evolve.  Buck has not only mastered the ways of the Wild, but he’s also mastered his own fate.