In the novel, The Call of the Wild the main character, Buck, who is a former house dog, faces many challenges after he is stolen and sold into service as a sled dog. He progressively becomes feral in this new environment and strives to dominate and conquer among the other dogs. Throughout this harsh journey, he evolves into a confident, primordial, beast (89). The journey is found to be relatable to humans as Buck thinks and reasons the same way they do. The novel, written by Jack London, demonstrates the depiction of animals that have the power of almost conscious thought. By reason of, readers can relate and create a connection with Buck, in order to fully comprehend the situation that he is in. London integrates a skillful use of anthropomorphism into this story because he allows the reader to connect with the sensations the animals are feeling and experiencing, thus helping the reader to further understand and relate to what is occurring.
An occasion where Jack Landon attributes anthropomorphism, the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object, is when Buck is kidnapped and placed in a train car to be transported away. London displays Buck’s human qualities by revealing his profuse feelings of anger, hate and indignation. He envisions how he will gain revenge on those who took him from his home because “During those two days and nights of torment, [Buck] accumulated a fund of wrath that boded ill for whoever first let fell foul of him” (10). This furthers the perception of the abhor and exasperation that he shows towards the people who captured him. When someone or something has done a human wrong, they have the urge to get back at the aggressor. Buck has malevolent anger towards the humans and imagines what he could possibly do to them. This natural instinct conveys how being able to survive depends on the gut feeling a so-called victim feels when they get irritated. In addition, Buck surmises and rationalizes like a human throughout the novel.
Next, towards the middle of the novel Buck sits by the fire and contemplates the life he has abandoned. He envisions his ancestors and becomes enlightened of his primitive nature. Buck ponders about his bygone life with Judge Miller and all the memories he has made throughout his short life, good or bad. When humans need, long and miss something, it evokes a sense of incompleteness or nostalgia. Buck is evocative because of his former life, making him emotional. London expresses Buck’s remembrance about his past: “Sometimes [Buck] thought of Judge Miller’s big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. . . he remembered the man in the red sweater, the death of curly, the fight with Spitz” (41). Buck is experiencing hostility, sentimentality, and reminiscence about his life before he was abducted. These feelings show the kind of emotions that are similar to those of humans.
Furthermore, towards the end of the novel, London portrays Buck’s relationship with freedom and nature. Humans tend to overlook the importance that nature has on their lives. Buck has done this as well, for he gains empathy for the world around him. As for London, who remarks that Buck “especially loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer nights ...” (74) and attests the objective that Buck is attentive to the scenery he is encountering. Human beings feel a sense of relief and serenity when in nature. Similarly, as Buck is experiencing the outdoors and taking in what is around him, he feels worry-free and tranquil. Whoever reads this novel may not have a connection with the point the author is aiming at but due to the sensory words used, he or she can associate what Buck is feeling with something they themselves have felt before. The reader is drawn towards the character, Buck, for he is loyal, trustworthy and relatable.
London integrates a skillful use of anthropomorphism into this story because he allows the reader to connect with the sensations the animals are feeling and experiencing, thus helping the reader to further understand and relate to what is occurring. In order for the reader to comprehend what the novel is about, connections must be made so whoever is reading can relate to Buck’s experiences. The use of anthropomorphism moves the book along in a way the readers can comprehend what is occurring. Whoever finds himself or herself reading The Call of the Wild will picture themselves walking in Buck’s shoes, while at the same time relating to the exceptional circumstances, he is in.
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