Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Into the Primitive

Discussion Prompt: What does the “reign of primitive law” mean? Discuss the meaning of this phrase, citing examples of its importance to this passage and the rest of Chapter l. Where does “primitive law” still reign in society? How so?

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The “reign of primitive law” refers to when Buck was being beaten repeatedly by his kidnappers and clubbed by the man in the red sweater. Buck tries to get back on his feet each time he is clubbed but can’t. He tries to attack the man in the red sweater several times but is clubbed each time and every time he tries to get up, he suffers and loses more strength. As Buck grew he was taught that only fair laws and the good ways are the ruling forces but what he learns when he goes to the north is that fairness doesn’t matter, the strong rule and the weak must obey or die. This will change Buck’s life in many ways. “Primitive law” still reigns in society among tribal people who lack knowledge, education and apprehension. This “Primitive law” keeps them from performing tasks besides and against their religion and culture in which were also done by their early ancestors.


Imperiously (adv.)

Among the terriers Buck stalked imperiously, and he absolutely ignored Toots and Ysabel.

2. Insular (adj.)

Buck had pride in himself and and leadership as country gentlemen sometimes did because of their insular situation.

3. Pampered (verb)

Instead of being a mere pampered house-dog, Buck is a domesticated, but atypical dog who lives in the home of Judge Miller in California.

4. Involuntarily (adv.)

He had so mercilessly pounded,that his hair involuntarily bristled at touch of the hand and he barely even felt it.

5. Torment (verb)

Buck neither ate nor drank during the two days of torment, that he had spent far from home so far.

6. Latent (adj.)

Buck faced the aspect uncowed with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.

Close Read:

Why was trouble brewing along the Pacific Ocean, and for whom? Why do you think London begins the narrative with this announcement?

Trouble was brewing along the Pacific Ocean because the men in the North had found gold and they wanted dogs to protect them from the ice cold North. I think London begins the narrative with this announcement to assist the reader in foreshadowing that the main character, Buck, will face trouble and be put in situations where he will struggle a lot.

2. What kind of life does Buck live at Judge Miller’s estate? What are some of his usual activities? To whom does he answer?

At Judge Miller’s estate, Buck lives with pride and courage, for, “he was king,—king over all creeping, crawling, flying things of Judge Miller’s place, humans included.” Some of his usual activities are like “plunging into the swimming tank or hunting with the Judge’s sons; he escorted Mollie and Alice, the Judge’s daughters, on long twilight or early morning rambles; on wintry nights he lay at the Judge’s feet before the roaring library fire; he carried the Judge’s grandsons on his back, or rolled them in the grass, and guarded their footsteps through wild adventures down to the fountain in the stable yard, and even beyond, where the paddocks were, and the berry patches.” Buck doesn’t really answer to anyone since he is the king of the place.

3. How does Buck initially respond to the kidnappers when they try to tie him up with a rope? What can we infer about Buck’s nature from his initial response?

Buck initially responds to the kidnappers by trying to attack them as soon as they put a rope around his neck. He tries to break free form their grip several times and run away but fails due to his loss of strength. Later on, Buck is knocked out by one of the men and thrown into the baggage car of the train. From Buck’s initial response we can infer about his nature that he was raised to be brave, strong and courageous. He was also taught and raised to never give up, fight for what’s right and defend himself against all dangers, in all situations.

4. Who is the man in the red sweater? Why does he have power over the dogs?

The man in the red sweater is the one who buys Buck. He has power over the dogs because he clubs them so could obey him.

5. What is Perrault’s first impression of Buck? Conversely, how does Buck come to feel about his new owners?

As soon as Perrault sees Buck he is immediately impressed. Perrault sees Buck as this one strong, brave and hardworking dog. Both Francois and Perrault thought that Buck was both unique and one of a kind and they gladly commented, “One in ten t’ousand.” Buck, however, has great respect, honor and appreciation for his owners but no actual emotions towards them.


Buck is a large, handsome dog who lives on Judge Miller’s estate in the santa Clara Valley. He is a strong, brave and hardworking dog who has a fine pride in himself for he was king,—king over all creeping, crawling, flying things of Judge Miller’s place, humans included. Buck is one of the many dogs that are kidnapped to go to the North Lands. Buck was kidnapped by one of the gardener’s helper’s on Judge Miller’s estate and taken to a flag station where he is beaten until unconscious and thrown into the baggage car of the train in which transports him to the North. As soon as Buck arrives he meets the man in the red sweater. This man teaches Buck that he must obey and give in to any power that is much stronger than his. He also clubs Buck constantly until Buck finally gives up and submits to him. But Buck doesn’t have to deal with this any longer because he is later bought by Francois and Perrault buy him due to his excellent strength and power.

( # of words: 181)

Chapter 2: The Law of Club and Fang

Discussion Prompt: What do we inherit from our past generations, or ancestors? How is what we inherit affected by the changing environment in which we live? Discuss these concepts in comparison with the situation of Buck and other domesticated animals, referring to any relevant lines or quotations from this passage for support.

We inherit specific things based on our ancestors’ will. Also when we are told stories about them and their early life, we may inherit their ways and their spirit for whichever type of personality they had. And sometimes the things you inherit, could be harmful because they don’t fit the environment, neutral and it has no effect or beneficial and helpful. For example, the things that Buck inherited from his ancestors the manner in which his ancestors had fought, and “..the old tricks which they had stamped into the heredity of the breed were his tricks.” He also inherited their ways, wisdom and strong spirit.


Primordial (adj.)

Buck had been suddenly taken from his home, where he was the leader and flung into the heart of things primordial,where he is lead.

Belligerent (adj.)

Joe whirled around on his heels to face Spitz, mane bristling, ears laid back… and eyes diabolically gleaming—the incarnation of belligerent fear.

Cunningly (adv.)

Buck did not rob openly, but he stole secretly and cunningly, out of respect for both the club and fang.

Ravenous (adj.)

The dogs usually left camp after dark, eating their bit of fish, and crawling to sleep into the snow. Buck was ravenous.

Perpetual (adj.)

Buck never had enough food and suffered from perpetual hunger pangs.

Heredity (noun)

The old tricks which Buck’s ancestors had stamped into the heredity of the breed were now the tricks that Buck used.

Close Read:

What is the “law of club and fang” that the chapter title refers to? What do “club” and “fang” represent? Why is this thematically significant?

The “law of club and fang” refers to the most important factors that Buck must learn to survive in the North. The law of the club means that a man with a club is more likely to be stronger and able to force the dogs to do as he wishes. And the law of the fang means that the strongest among the dogs will be the leader.

2. What is Buck’s first experience watching dogs fight? Why does it have such a profound effect on him?

Buck’s shock grows as he views the dogs fight. It was his very first time to be face to face with such cruelty and violence. The scene had such a profound effect on him that it came back to him in his sleep and ever since Buck witnessed the violent and bloody scene, he hated Spitz with a bitter and deathless hatred.

3. Who are Billee, Joe and Sol-leks? How are they different in nature, and how does this affect their standing in the group?

Billee, Joe and Sol-leks are part of the sled dog team. Each one of these one of kind dogs is different and has his own personality.For example, Bille is a very kind dog and he assists Buck in making his hole in the snow. Jo, however, is very unlike Billee. He mostly snarls at not only Buck, but most of the dogs and he is quite precautionary. Sol-leks is a bad-tempered dog who eventually becomes the leader of the team after Spitz.

4. Why does Buck have trouble sleeping on the first night at camp? How does he discover a solution to this problem?

Buck has trouble sleeping on the first night at camp because he was new to all of this and just couldn’t seem to find a warm comfortable place in this treacherous place. But he later on discovers a solution by observing what his team mates did. And as he passes by Billee who is almost completely buried with in the snow, he kind of gets an idea on how to make himself accomodated in this horrible, dreary weather. Buck digs a hole for himself in the snow and quickly falls asleep tired and exhausted.

5. Which quality of Buck’s is most impressive to Francois and Perrault? How do we know this?

Francois and Perrault were most impressed and inspired by Buck’s quality of learning very quick and they were also gladdened by the possession of Buck. We know this because as Francois was speaking to Perrault about how the dogs are making progress, he mentioned Buck personally and said, “Dat Buck, heem pool lak hell. I tich heem queek as anyt’ing.” And then later he gave a shout out to Perrault, saying, “Wot I say …Dat Buck for sure learn queek as anything.” In these two quotes, Francois is describing Buck’s fast learning skills.


One of the dogs on the sled dog team, Curly is a very sweet, female dog. She was fought by Spitz for no reason at all and killed. Buck was very shocked as he witnessed this horrifying fight and after, he hated Spitz with a bitter and deathful hatred. Later on, Buck was harnessed to the same sled as Dave and Spitz, the leader of the sled dog team. Even though it was Buck’s first time to pull a sled, Francois and Perrault were very surprised by how he learns very quickly and how much progress he was making. And that night, Buck can’t sleep or find any source of accomodation. But he finds a solution when he passes by Billee who is almost completely buried with in the snow, he kind of gets an idea on how to make himself accomodated in this horrible, dreary weather. Buck digs a hole for himself in the snow and quickly falls asleep tired and exhausted. Each day, buck loses strength and is worn out then the day before. Perrault and Francois try to help him out by providing him with a larger amount of provender, but he still never feels satisfied. As a result, he must rob food to get enough. Even though what Buck does is wrong, he only does it because it is necessary as well as the only way he could survive in the North Land. Throughout this journey, Buck performs almost the same habits his ancestors performed before him and they are part of the factors that help him survive in the Northland environment.

( # of words: 266)

Chapter 3: The Dominant Primordial Beast

Discussion Prompt: How does the point of view London chooses (close third-person) determine the protagonist and antagonist of this story? What happens when the point of view briefly shifts to Francois, Perrault, and Spitz, as in the passage in which Spitz considers Buck’s strengths? What does it reveal about both dogs?

It shows who the antagonist is and who the protagonist is because third person makes the reader feel as if the narrator knows everything and what’s all going on. When the point of view briefly shifts to Francois, Perrault, and Spitz, as in the passage in which Spitz considers Buck’s strengths it shows that dogs can tell each other’s weaknesses and strengths as well. What this reveals about both dogs is that they know each other well enough to predict what each of them are thinking and each others strengths and weaknesses. This means that they are so close to when one of the dogs will take over and control the rest of the team.

Famished (adj.)

A score of famished brutes were scrambling all of the place for the bread and bacon.

Compelled (verb)

Francois and Perrault were compelled to run back and save the food, upon which te huskies returned to the attack on the team.

Mutiny (noun)

With the not openly acknowledged or displayed mutiny of Buck, a general insubordination and refusal to obey orders sprang up and increased.

Inexorable (adj.)

The wild wave of famished and ravenous beasts rolled back before them, and Buck shook himself free… He was inexorable.

Paradox (noun)

The ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise is the paradox of living.

Close Read:

1. Why do Buck and Spitz view one another as rivals? Cite one or more specific quotations from this chapter that explains their rivalry.

Buck and Spitz view one another as rivals because they both want power and control over the rest of the team. This is explained in the story when the narrator states that both of them kept the driver, They kept the driver “in a constant apprehension of the life-and-death struggle between the two dogs which he knew must take place sooner or later: and on more than one night the sounds of quarrelling and strife among the other dogs turned him out of his sleeping robe, fearful that Buck and Spitz were at it.”

2. What ultimately causes Buck and Spitz to have their first fight? How does it end?

The ultimate cause of the first fight between Buck and Spitz was when Buck leaves his sleeping hole to go eat some of the fish that Francois had just thawed over the fire. When Buck returns he sees Spitz settled in his sleeping hole. This makes Buck very mad and he attacks Spitz and so Spitz rises to defend himself and fight back. The fight, however, doesn’t come to an end due to an unexpected delay by the sudden appearance of four or five score of starving huskies. These dogs invade the camp and take all the food there is.

3. What do their respective actions during the battle with the wild dogs tell us about Buck, Dave, Sol-leks, Billie, and Spitz?

Buck, Dave, Sol-leks, Billie, and Spitz’s respective actions during the battle with the wild dogs tell us about them that they are willing to fight for their property and belongings under any circumstances and that they are confident and brave enough to fight off intruders of which they lack knowledge of.

4. What can we infer has happened to Dolly? What is her eventual fate?

Dolly goes mad after being bitten by the wild huskies that invaded the camp to get food and she tries to attack Buck, but Francois kills her with an ax. Dolly is eventually dead after being killed by Francois.

5. What does London mean when he writes about the “paradox of living”? What are his examples of this?

London means that even though Buck faces so many hardships in the North, he still comes to some solution and a way to overcome these conflicts and hardships. Although Buck came face to face with death so many times, he still fought to and kept going until he eventually becomes the leader and head of the team. London’s examples of this are, “that it comes to an artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing quarter.”


Buck and Spitz become rivals to one another and this is part of the reason that they have their first fight. But that is not the only cause. The other cause is explained in the story when Buck digs a hole and settles in it, but then he goes to get food and when he returns, he finds his space occupied by Spitz and the fight begins. This fight, however, doesn’t have an end exactly, for it is later on delayed by an invasion of starving huskies to the camp. They sled dog teams struggles to defend their territory and belongings and are eventually outnumbered and are badly hurt. The next morning they go back to the camp but find no food there. Now, not only do they suffer from the climate and environment, but also form starvation. Dolly, one of the dogs was bitten by one of the wild huskies and as a result, she goes mad and tries to attack Buck. Francois, however, saves Buck in time and kills the mad dog with an ax. Francois also saves Buck for the second time when Spitz attacks him and so Francois threatens him with his whip. From then on, Buck and Spitz remain rivals. Later on, the team continue their journey but make a brief stopover in Dawson and then continue again until Skaguay. There, the dogs spot a rabbit one night and they decide to hunt it down. Some dogs from the Northwest Police camp join the other dogs in the hunt. Buck leads the hunt and the rest of the dogs follow him, except Spitz. He leaves the pack and cuts them off and only then does Buck realize what Spitz is thinking of; a battle to the death. After just minutes of fighting, Buck is all wounded, while Spitz is untouched; not even a little scar. But he eventually goes down and Buck finishes him off.

( # of words: 320)

Chapter 4: Who Has Won to Mastership

Discussion Prompt: Buck’s heredity “gave things he had never seen before a seeming familiarity,” according to the passage from Chapter IV. What is the meaning of this line, and why is it important to the central idea of the text? Have you had a new experience that seemed familiar or “second nature” to you right away? How would you compare that with Buck’s sense of déjá vu?

This quote means that Buck seems familiar with things he has never seen or done before because he refers back to the ways his ancestors behaved and what their ways were. It is important to the central idea of the text because it shows that Buck has some connection with his ancestors and that he behaves the same way they did in the wild. Even I have once had a new experience that seemed familiar or “second nature” to me when I realize the way I behave when I am angry and only then do I begin to think of and refer to the way my grandmother used to behave and how she would calm down (how she taught me it). I would compare that with Buck’s sense of déjá vu by claiming that they are similar because when he does something he remembers that his ancestors used to do it the same way and he is a little homesick and longs to go get out this treacherous, miserable world and safely go back Judge Miller’s place.


Toil (adj.)

Many of the Southland dogs that Buck knew were too soft, dying under the toil, the frost and starvation of these cold and suffering Northern lands.

Monotonous (adj.)

Buck’s new life in the South/North was quite monotonous and very unlike the way he lived on Judge Miller’s place.

Solidarity (noun)

The insidious rebellion and revolt lead by Buck had destroyed the solidarity of the sled dog team.

Resiliency (noun)

Buck noticed a peculiar springiness or resiliency about the man’s body and that he never stood erect or rigidly upright.

Resented (verb)

Dave resented being left out because of his illness.

Close Read:

1. How does Sol-leks respond to Buck’s attempt to assume the lead-dog position? How do Francois and Perrault respond?

Sol-leks didn’t really have a specific response and he didn’t mind the changes that happened. Francois and Perrault, however, are extremely surprised and they believe that with no more Spitz, trouble will be over.

2. What are some of Buck’s leadership qualities? Do they serve the pack well now that he is in charge? Explain.

Some of Buck’s leadership qualities are his honesty and inspiration for the dogs. These qualities serve the pack well now that he is in charge because the other dogs can trust him and also he sometimes inspires them which makes them do better and put more effort into what they do.

3. How do Francois and/or Perrault feel when they say goodbye to Buck? How does Buck feel in return? Refer to specific passages in the text, as well as your own inferences.

When Francois and Perrault come to say goodbye to Buck they are so sad and Francois immediately calls to Buck, throws his arms around him and begins shedding tears. Buck didn’t feel any emotional connection for Francois and Perrault.

4. Describe the incident with Dave at the end of the chapter and what it says to us about the huskies’ nature.

Dave was in very bad condition and something had gone wrong with him which the drivers couldn’t tell what it was. Even though he was constantly in pain, he despised being left out from the rest of the team. This tells us that the huskies’ nature is to do hard and effortful work. And also that the husky is a working dog and never gives up under any circumstances.


The next morning after the fight, François noticed that Spitz was missing and Buck was completely covered with wounds and scars. He then, supposes that Buck had probably killed Spitz. Francois wasn’t sad nor was he surprised at all. He also wasn’t surprised when he observed how well Buck lead the team. Over their stay in Skaguay, both François and Perrault become very well known due to the record timing of their run. But celebrating doesn’t last any moment longer as soon as official orders from the government order them to break the town immediately, thereby leaving the sled dog team at Skaguay. The moment this news arrives, Francois begins tearing up and weeping over Buck as he and Perrault leave. Now, Buck and his teammates are owned by another Scotsman, in which Buck calls the “Scotch half-breed.” Not only does this man add a dozen more dogs to the team, but he also almost doubles the load. This makes the work more monotonous than it is, and this way, the dogs must put in twice as much effort, but Buck can manage. The dogs proceed with their journey, but the morning after, Dave collapses and his lags are so weak that he can’t even walk besides the sled that is being pulled away. Therefore, the driver makes the dogs stop and he and Dave walk away from the sled. Just moments later, the other dogs hear gunshots ring out. And they know that Dave is dead.

(# of words:247)

Chapter 5: The Toil of Trace and Trail

Discussion Prompt: Identify all of the different examples of conflict in this passage. How do all these conflicts—character vs. character, character vs. setting, etc.—create suspense in this climactic moment in the story? Discuss this suspense, and cite examples from this and other passages.

The different examples of conflict in the passage are Charles and Hal beating the dogs, Hal and Charles conversation and John Thornton thinking to speak up and defend the poor dogs but hesitates. These conflicts create suspense in this climactic moment in the story because you never know if a fight,disagreement or quarrel might begin and you certainly don’t know how serious it will be. The conflicts just keep the reader going because he/she are eager to know what will happen next. For example, “Several times Thornton started, as though to speak, but changed his mind.” In this quote, Thornton thinks about reacting to the scene where the dogs are beaten but changes his mind several times. This keeps the reader thing and wanting to know what will happen next. It fills the reader’s mind with questions which in this case would be like: Will Thornton speak up for the dogs? What will Hal and Charles do when Thornton talks? Will they fight? Who will be involved? etc..– and this keeps and full fills the readers’ minds to keep reading to know what will happen.


Malingerer (noun)

One of the sled dogs, Pike acted as if he were a malingerer to get out of doing what the others dogs do.

Slovenly (adj.)

Hal, Charles, and Mercedes didn’t know anything about hiking and so it took them half a night to pitch a slovenly camp and half a morning to break that camp.

Apprehensively (adv.)

Buck watched Hal, Charles, and Mercedes apprehensively as they proceeded to take down the tent and load the

Superfluous (adj.)

In the North, among the strong, working dogs, the superfluous dogs would be eliminated.

Grievance (noun)

Mercedes focused her attention on a special grievance–the grievance of sex.

Impending (adj.)

Buck sometimes had a vague feeling of impending doom.

Close Read:

1. What evidence do we immediately see of Hal and Charles’ lack of experience in the Klondike?

The evidence we immediately see of Hal and Charles’ lack of experience in the Klondike is that were very unfamiliar with dog sledding because it was their first time to do it. And they also weren’t dressed properly for the cold weather of the North, their load was too heavy and it was mostly junk; nothing really important besides food and tools, and had little to no clue at all about dealing with the sled dogs.

2. What ultimately convinces Hal, Charles, and Mercedes to lighten their load? How do they react to this?

Hal, Charles, and Mercedes weren’t convinced to lighten their load until their sled falls over and they find their things all on the ground. They react to this by getting angry, but they eventually begin to get rid of some things.

3. Who are the “Outside” dogs? What eventually happens to these dogs, and why?

The “Outside” dogs are the new dogs that Hal and Charles had bought when they went out in the evening. These dogs had no experience at all in dog sledding and were so dumb that they quickly learned what not to do but had no idea what they were suppose to do. These dogs were considered a disgrace to the other sled dogs.

4. How does the change in season affect the expedition? What are some of the benefits and detriments of this change?

As the weather shifts from winter to spring, the snow begins to melt which makes it almost impossible for the dogs to be able to cross the lake. Some benefits of the weather change are that the dogs won’t have to suffer from the cold anymore and when the snow melts, it will clear paths for the dogs to travel. Some detriments of the weather change are that the lakes will melt which means danger when crossing over them.

5. How does John Thornton react to the inexperienced prospectors’ abuse of Buck, as well as their eventual fate? What does this tell you about him?

Thornton doesn’t let the inexperienced prospectors beat Buck or abuse him. He tries threatening them so they could stop. And when they were drowning, he didn’t try helping them because he knew they deserved it. This tells us about him that he believes in fairness and foolish people deserve whatever the get.


As soon as the dogs and drivers continue their journey and arrive at Skaguay, they are all tired and worn out. But luckily they get no rest because they are ordered right away to deliver more mail. Therefore, the drivers had to replace the dogs and they sell the dogs to these people who had just arrived to the North. These people were Hal, Charles and mercedes. They were very inexperienced with dog sledding and had no idea how to deal with the dogs. They also had so much load and junk that their entire sled fell over, and only then were they convinced that they should lighten their load. But instead of getting rid of the things that aren’t necessary, they throw out the food and water and soon, they all begin to starve. Even some of the dogs begin to die. Hal begins beating the dogs so they could pull the sled but there doesn’t seem to be any use of it. This man, named Thornton watches Hal as he beats Buck and threatens to beat him if he doesn’t stop. He even frees Buck from the sled and they both watch the dogs and human continue but fall into the river and drown.

(# of words: 206)

Chapter 6: For the love of a man

Discussion Prompt: Which side of Buck’s do you think will win out in the end, the “domestic” side or the “wild” side? Draw inferences from this and other passages in your discussion.

I think the “wild” side will win out in the end because it is what has helped Buck survive in the wild so far but the “domestic” side really is no use in the wild. For example, in the story, it mentions that, “Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest…’ This means that Buck had been hearing sounding of a call. This call was the call of the wild which Buck made eager to join the wild and be among the wolves.


Ecstasy (noun)

Buck felt great ecstasy every time John Thornton touched him

Transient (adj.)

Until now, all of Buck’s masters were transient; none of them were permanent.

Provocation (noun)

The “minors’ meeting” decided that Buck had sufficient provocation, and Buck was discharged.

Reputation (noun)

Ever since the day of the “minors’ meeting”, Buck’s reputation was made and his name spread through every camp in Alaska.

Exploit (noun)

That winter, at Dawson, Buck had another exploit, which was not so heroic but still put his name many notches higher among the other people.

Bristled (verb)

Down Buck’s neck and across his shoulders and mane,in repose as it was half bristled and seemed to lift with every movement, as though excess of vigor made each particular hair of his alive and active.

Close Read:

1. In Buck’s eyes, which of John Thornton’s qualities make him the ideal master?

John Thornton’s qualities of kindness and the way he treats his dogs as if they are his sons, makes Thornton the ideal master in Buck’s eyes.

2. When John Thornton states, “It is splendid, and it is terrible, too,” what is he referring to? Why does he say he is sometimes afraid?

Thornton is referring to Buck’s loyalty and faithfulness to him. He means that because of Buck’s love for him, he is willing to do anything for Thornton. Even when Thornton told Buck to jump off of a cliff, Buck was about to do it until Thornton came and stopped Buck. hornton thinks it great but because it’s so much, Buck is will to do anything even kill himself; that is terrible. He sometimes says that he is afraid because he wants to protect his dogs from harm and keep the safe, but buck loyalties might not keep him safe.

3. What is the incident at Circle City, and how does it affect Buck’s reputation?

At Circle City, Thornton is involved in a fight between two men. When one of the men hit Thornton, Buck attacked the man. After Buck attacks, he rips out the man’s throat. This affects Buck’s reputation by making his name then spreads through all of Alaska and he becomes well known.

4. What is the bet that Thornton agrees to, and why? Why is he apprehensive about it?

Thornton bets at $1600 that Buck can pull a sled loaded with a thousand pounds of flour. He is a little apprehensive about it though because he is afraid that Buck might not be able to pull the sled.

5. What is the eventual result of the bet?

The result of the bet is that Buck wins the bet. After that, Buck becomes the most well known dog in Alaska.


After Thornton saves Buck’s life from hal’s beating, Buck feels more safe around Thornton than around any other human. Later on, Buck starts hearing this “call from the wild,” repeatedly and he longs to go live in the wood with the other wild animals. Thornton then wants to test Buck’s loyalty to him by telling him to jump off a cliff. And as Buck is about to, he is immediately pulled back by Thornton. In return, Buck protects Thornton from many things. He even wins a bet for Thornton by pulling a thousand-pound sled. Unfortunately, Buck pulls the load and wins Thornton the money that he betted on. Buck was now a very well known dogs in all of Alaska.

(# of words:120)

Chapter 7:The Sounding of the Call

Discussion Prompt: Even though Buck is not a wolf, he finds a sense of belonging with them. Why? Discuss all of the different factors that have led to this resolution. What does this tell you about Buck? About animal nature?

Even though Buck is not a wolf, he finds a sense of belonging with the wolves because he starts hearing this “call from the wild,” repeatedly and begins longing to go live in the forest with the other wild dogs. Some factors that affect Buck wanting to be with the wolves are like: how he is reminded of his ancestors which were free like the wolves and how he hears the “call of the wild”, and also how Buck has the spirit that encourages him to do so. What this tells us about Buck, is that he respects his ancestors and wants to be as great as they were. This also tells us about animal nature that every animal longs to be free, if it isn’t already.


Salient (adj.)

According to Buck, the only salient thing in the North was fear; nothing more but fear.

Vigilant (adj.)

Buck and the hairy man’s heels were very alert, vigilant and they both moved quickly.

Pertinacity (noun)

Buck’s pertinacity was rewarded just after the incident with the wolf.

Abundance (noun)

Buck felt an abundance of happiness every time John Thornton touched him.

Formidable (adj.)

Buck’s good qualities made him as formidable as any creature with that intelligence roamed the wild.

Brooded (verb)

All day Buck brooded by the pool or roamed restlessly about the camp.

Close Read:

1. What does John Thornton do with the money he won from the bet? What is the eventual result of this investment?

John Thornton uses the money to arrange a trip to find a gold mine. The eventual result of this investment is that when they go, they don’t find the mine but they do find gold.

2. Who or what does Buck find in the forest in the middle of the night? What happens upon making this discovery?

Buck finds a wolf in the forest in the middle of the night and when he tries to act as a friend, the wolf gets scared and runs away.

3. What is the “last latent remnant of Buck’s ferocity”? What does Buck do to awaken this ferocity?

The “last latent remnant of Buck’s ferocity” refers to Buck’s fight against the bear. To awaken his ferocity, Buck tries making himself look strong in front of the bear and find the bear’s weaknesses but the last point of Buck’s ferocity was released when he killed the bear.

4. What is the importance of “patience in the wild”? How does this patience manifest itself in Buck?

The importance of “patience in the wild” is because of survival in the wild. Being able to out wait prey and wait for the perfect moment to catch your food are examples of patience of the wild. This patience manifests itself in Buck because he watches the wolves do it and because he wants to be free like them, he tries to copy them.

5. How does Buck enter Yeehat lore? What is his ultimate legacy?

Buck enters the Yeehat lore by following the story that the Yehat tell of a Ghost Dog. Buck’s ultimate legacy is the “Ghost Dog” story that the Yeehat people tell and the wolf puppies he left.


After Buck wins the bet for Thornton, Thornton then gains money. He uses this money to arrange a trip to find a gold mine. But luckily, when they go, they don’t find the mine but they do find gold. One night, Buck hears something coming from the forest and so he goes to discover what it was, and it turns out to be a wolf. He eventually becomes friends with this wolf which makes him long to join the wild. And one day, he kills a bear in the forest and another, he killed a moose. And on and on Buck makes progress and proves to himself that he is fit enough and capable of joining the wild. Eventually, Thornton is gone and Buck is lonely again. But this gives him a chance to join the wolves. He becomes the leader of one of the packs and begins making his own population.

(# of words: 152)


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