The Call of the Wild
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. How does The Call of the Wild present the human-dog relationship?
2. What is the “law of club and fang”? What does it represent? How is Buck introduced to it?
3. Discuss the influence of Charles Darwin’s and Friedrich Nietzsche’s theories on The Call of the Wild.
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Discuss Mercedes, Hal, and Charles. What role do they play in the novel? How do they function as embodiments of the worst side of civilization?
2. What is “atavism”? What role does it play in Buck’s development as a wild animal?
3. To what extent does London anthropomorphize Buck—that is, present him like a human being? To what extent is he emphatically an animal?
4. Compare the roles of John Thornton and Judge Miller. Who, from the novel’s point of view, is the better master? Defend your answer.
5. What is the “call of the wild”? How does it affect Buck's behavior throughout the novel?
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