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?