The Power of Passion
Power of Place

Leader of the Pack

Matthew Nicholas
Freshman English
The Call of the Wild Analysis

Perseverance on the Sled Trail


“He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken”
-(Chapter I, Call of the Wild By Jack London)

    Buck rushed in and at the last moment came low to the ground and crunched down on the snow white left fore leg. Again Buck rushed and took out Spitz’s right fore leg. While Spitz was in agony he struggled to keep up. Spitz looked around and saw the hungry circle of dogs closing in on him. The tongues of the dogs were out and the teeth were showing like they were ready to bite. Buck finally takes down his rival Spitz in a fight to the death that required great patience and determination. In the book, The Call of the Wild, Buck is a sled dog who came from domestic upbringing. Buck would not give up even when it seemed impossible that he would succeed. He developed determination and resilience in situations such as the fight with Spitz and the killing of the moose. Buck was born a domesticated dog but through his journey as a sled dog he gets in touch with his wild dog roots which include the trait to preserve and be a leader.


    In tough circumstances perseverance means survival. Buck was under the “law of club and fang” where he learned what he had to do to survive as a sled dog. In order to survive he had to be determined in every aspect of his life. Buck showed his patience and perseverance when the brought down the bull moose over a multi-day period. “At last, at the end of the fourth day, he pulled the great moose down” (Chapter VII). Buck was tireless and relentless in how he pursued a beast multiple times his size.

From then on, night and day, Buck never left his prey, never gave it a moment's rest, never permitted it to browse the leaves of trees or the shoots of young birch and willow. Nor did he give the wounded bull opportunity to slake his burning thirst in the slender trickling streams they crossed (Chapter VII).

The focus and patience that Buck showed while he watched and waited for the bull to weaken was something that he had developed over his years as a sled dog. He put all his lessons together from the difficult times and achieved his greatest goal. With each experience of the past he was training for this moment.


    Leaders builds respect through actions and successes. Buck had a keen sense of what the pack needed and was ready to take over after fighting Spitz to the death. Over time Buck was observing what Spitz could not do so he was ready to step in as the leader of the pack. “The rest of the team, however, had grown unruly during the last days of Spitz, and their surprise was great now that Buck proceeded to lick them into shape” (Chapter IV). Buck has the skills needed to be the leader of the pack. He is able to make split second judgements.

At a bound Buck took up the duties of leadership; and where judgment was required, and quick thinking and quick acting, he showed himself the superior even of Spitz, of whom Francois had never seen an equal (Chapter IV).

Buck was able to rapidly pick up the duties of being a leader. He also had the traits and skills he needed to earn the respect of the team. It was not enough that he had the talent to be a leader but he needed to also have the drive and desire. “But it was in giving the law and making his mates live up to it, that Buck excelled” (Chapter IV). He was able to keep them going and he to lead the dogs to Dawson in record time. Leadership like perseverance can be developed. Buck grows from a domesticated dog to a primordial leader. He has experiences that help him learn what it takes to be a leader. The fight to the death with Spitz gave him confidence and respect from the other dogs.


    All experiences in life are unique however the lessons learned can be universal. Buck learned how to be a leader and to persevere through his time as a sled dog. I can’t relate to being a sled dog in Canada however I can relate to Buck’s lessons as a leader, a member of a group and persevering. I aspire to be a leader that can bring others together towards achieving a goal. Buck succeeded in making the team get to Dawson in record time. I want to be the type of leader that can whip a team into shape the way that Buck did. Reading the Call of the Wild inspired me to be my best self in the way Buck grew into his self. I really enjoyed the suspense of the story and I was always curious if Buck would survive. I think reading literature is a way we can learn from other experiences that we may never live through. Even though there were parts of the book that were too graphic for me I liked the descriptions of life in the Yukon. I related to Buck and wanted him to succeed. He kept getting pushed down and he still would get right back up. I want to believe that I am a determined person. Buck found his role in the pack and he found himself in becoming a leader. I am still growing as a leader. It is good to have role models for what it takes to be a leader. I am not going to be killing a moose anytime soon but I will have other challenges that may feel overwhelming. I will remember Buck’s patience and determination. It was worthwhile to read the Call of the Wild to have the valuable lessons from Buck’s unique experience.



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This is just about perfect, however, it needs a couple of minor revisions. You need to include the theme of your reflection in your opening paragraph. You need to format book titles correctly, and you need to separate out the conclusion at the end of the essay. Your words and your analysis and your reflection are great.

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