Presentation on theme: "The Call of the Wild –Author –Jack London Jack London Born 1876, Died 1916 Left school after 8 th grade, but later returned to graduate from high school."— Presentation transcript:
The Call of the Wild –Author –Jack London Jack London Born 1876, Died 1916 Left school after 8 th grade, but later returned to graduate from high school Only briefly attended Cal, Berkley before beginning a life of adventure Some of his adventures in real life included the following: –Pirate –Tramp –Gold prospector –Journalist for Various Wars
The Call of the Wild –Jack London, Con’t: The Call of the Wild is his most famous work These experiences, especially his time looking for gold in Canada, are seen in The Call of the Wild Wrote over 50 books and was at one time the most popular writer in America His works focused on the exploration of new frontiers, including the American West They celebrated violence, power and strength
Literary Focus –Date of Publication –Genre –Setting (TIME) –Setting (PLACE) 1903 Adventure; Beast Fable The Late 1890s Canada; Alaska –two regions that are diametrically opposed—the Southland and the Northland. The former represents civilization and the latter the wild. In the South, Buck lived a domesticated and perfectly stable life. When Buck arrives in the North, he realizes that survival is the only concern.
Literary Focus –Point of View –Protagonist –Antagonist Third-Person –The Call of the Wild is told from a very unusual point of view—that of a dog. Yet a human narrator stands outside of Buck's consciousness and makes sense of the dog's universe to human readers. Buck Nature; Selfish, Irresponsible Owners
Characters –Buck A powerful dog, who feels the call of the wild Buck is stolen from the California estate and sold as a sled dog in the Arctic Buck evolves from a pampered pet into a fierce, masterful animal, a survivor in the cruel Northern wilderness
Spitz Buck’s archrival A fierce “devil-dog” used to winning fight with other dogs Spitz is defeated and killed by Buck Amoral and ruthless
Hal An American gold seeker Hal buys Buck’s dog team Terrible masters to the dog team
MercedesHal’s sister and Charles’s wife Spoiled and pampered Slows down the journey Does show some sympathy for the dogs
CharlesMercedes’ husband and Hal’s brother-in- law Inexperienced and foolish
John ThorntonBuck’s final master Experienced gold hunter and knows the ways of the Klondike Thornton and Buck’s relationship is the ideal for human and animal—they protect each other and are devoted to each other
Literary Focus –Allegory An allegory tells two stories at once—one set in the reality of the story and one with more symbolic significance On one level the story is simply about a dog answering the “call of the wild.” On a deeper level, however, the novel may be voicing London’s opinion that man is inherently savage and, like Buck, must learn to survive by any means necessary
Literary Focus –Symbolism Hal and his companions represent the weakness of civilized people and embody the worst kind of man to human relationship Mercedes is symbolic of how civilized women are babied by their men and unsuited for life in the wild
Literary Focus, Con’t –Themes and Conflicts Survival Cruelty of Nature Survival of the Fittest Quest for Alpha Dog Status Primitive Instincts Rugged Individualism Freedom and Solitary Life Civilization vs. Nature
Influences –Friedrich Nietzsche –Charles Darwin A German philosopher Two Types of Human Beings: “Masters,” who have a will to be powerful and “slaves” who do not have that same desire Envisioned a natural world defined by fierce competition for scarce resources Darwin’s theory can be simplified into the idea of “survival of the fittest”
OverviewBuck is a powerful dog, who is a mix of St. Bernard and sheepdog Gold is discovered in the Klondike region of Canada and Buck is sold to dog traders Buck, who had grown used to the sunny weather of California, is shocked by the harsh conditions of the north Buck however becomes adept and learns to trust his animalistic nature He soon becomes the lead dog for his team
Overview, Con’tOn one of Buck’s journeys his inexperienced masters ignore the dangers of the wilderness With the help of the gold hunter John Thornton Buck is freed from his irresponsible owners and becomes completely devoted to Thornton He saves Thornton’s life on more than one occasion Buck’s affection for Thornton is tempered, however, because he is increasingly drawn to the call of the wild Once a dog of leisure, Buck has developed into an animal that is one with nature.
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