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Call of the Wild Quotes

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Call of the Wild Quotes

Quote 1: "[It was] because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost." Chapter 1, pg. 1

Quote 2: "Old longings nomadic lap,/Chafing at custom's chain;/Again from its brumal sleep/Wakens the ferine strain." Chapter 1, pg. 1

Quote 3: "More tormentors, Buck decided, for they were evil-looking creatures, ragged and unkempt; and he stormed and raged at them through the bars. They only laughed and poked sticks at him, which he promptly assailed with his teeth till he realized that that was what they wanted." Chapter 1, pg. 8

Quote 4: "He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken. He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned the lesson, and in all his afterlife he never forgot it. That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law...The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect; and while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused." Chapter 1, pg. 13

Quote 5: "Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety. All was confusion and action, and every moment life and limb were in peril. There was imperative need to be constantly alert; for these dogs and men were not town dogs and men. They were savages, all of them, who knew no law but the law of club and fang." Chapter 2, pg. 18

Quote 6: "He never had enough, and suffered from perpetual hunger pangs. Yet the other dogs, because they weighed less and were born to the life, received only a pound only of the fish and managed to keep in good condition." Chapter 2, pg. 28

Quote 7: "[Buck's changes] marked...the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence. It was all well enough in the Southland, under the law of love and fellowship, to respect private property and personal feelings; but in the Northland, under the law of club and fang, whoso took such things into account was a fool, and insofar as he observed them he would fail to prosper." Chapter 2, pg. 29

Quote 8: "In this manner had fought forgotten ancestors. They quickened the old life within him, the old tricks which they had stamped into the heredity of the breed were his tricks...And when, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him." Chapter 2, pg. 31

Quote 9: "The dominant primordial beast was strong in Buck, and under the fierce condition of trail life it grew and grew. Yet it was a secret growth. His newborn cunning gave him poise and control...and in the bitter hatred between him and Spitz he betrayed no impatience, shunned all offensive acts." Chapter 3, pg. 32

Quote 10: "This was a great relief, and Buck caused even the weazened face of Perrault to twist itself into a grin one morning, when Francois forgot the moccasins and Buck lay on his back, his four feet waving appealingly in the air, and refused to budge without them. Later his feet grew hard to the trail, and the worn-out footgear was thrown away." Chapter 3, pg. 40

Quote 11: "Buck wanted [to fight]...because it was his nature, because he had been gripped tight by that nameless, incomprehensible pride of the trail and trace -- that pride which holds dogs in the toil to the last gasp, which lures them to die joyfully in the harness, and breaks their hearts if they are cut out of the harness." Chapter 3, pg. 42

Quote 12: "This was the pride that bore up Spitz and made him thrash the sled-dogs who blundered and shirked in the traces or hid away at the harness-up time in the morning. Likewise it was this pride that made him fear Buck as possible lead dog. And this was Buck's pride, too. He openly threatened the other's leadership." Chapter 3, pg. 42-43

Quote 13: "It was an old song, old as the breed itself [and it was] vested with the woe of unnumbered generations, this plaint by which Buck was so strangely stirred. When he moaned and sobbed, it was with the pain of living that was of old the pain of his wild fathers...And that he should be stirred by it marked the completeness with which he harked back through the ages of fire and roof to the raw beginnings of life in the howling ages." Chapter 3, pg. 45

Quote 14: "All that stirring of old instincts which at stated periods drives men out from the sounding cities to forest and plain to kill things by chemically propelled leaden bullets, the blood lust, the joy to kill -- all this was Buck's, only it was infinitely more intimate. He was ranging at the head of the pack, running the wild thing down, the living meat, to kill with how own teeth and wash his muzzle to the eyes in warm blood." Chapter 3, pg. 48

Quote 15: "Despite the pain and helplessness, Spitz struggled madly to keep up. He saw the silent circle, with gleaming eyes, lolling tongues, and silvery breaths drifting upward, closing in upon him as he had seen similar circles close in upon beaten antagonists in the past. Only this time he was the one who was beaten." Chapter 3, pg. 52

Quote 16: "They cursed [Buck], and his fathers and mothers before him, and all his seed to come after him down to the generation, and every hair on his body and drop of blood in his veins; and [Buck] answered curse with snarl and kept out of their reach...advertising plainly that when his desire was met, he would come in and be good." Chapter 4, pg. 56

Quote 17: "Far more potent were the memories of his heredity that gave things he had never seen before a seeming familiarity; the instincts (which were but the memories of his ancestors become habits) which had lapsed in later days, and still later, in him, quickened and became alive again." Chapter 4, pg. 61

Quote 18: "[Dave] pleaded with his eyes to remain there...[the men] talked of how a dog could break its heart through being denied the work that killed it, and recalled instances they had known, where dogs, too old for the toil, or injured, had died because they were cut out of the traces. Also, they held it a mercy, since Dave was to die anyway, that he should die in the traces, heart-easy and content." Chapter 4, pg. 66

Quote 19: "The wonderful patience of the trail which comes to men who toil hard and suffer sore, and remain sweet of speech and kindly, did not come to these two men and the woman. They had no inkling of such a patience. They were stiff and in pain; their muscles ached, their bones ached, their very hearts ached; and because of this they became sharp of speech." Chapter 5, pg. 80

Quote 20: "His muscles had wasted away to knotty strings, and the flesh pads had disappeared, so that each rib and every bone in his frame were outlined cleanly through the loose hide that was wrinkled in folds of emptiness. It was heartbreaking, only Buck's heart was unbreakable. The man in the red sweater had proved that." Chapter 5, pg. 83

Quote 21: "The sap was rising in the pines. The willows and aspens were bursting out in young buds. Shrubs and vines were putting on fresh garbs of green. Crickets sang in the nights, and in the days all manners of creeping, crawling things rustled forth in the sun. Partridges and woodpeckers were booming and knocking in the forest. Squirrels were chattering, birds singing." Chapter 5, pg. 85

Quote 22: "He felt strangely numb. As though from a great distance, he was aware that he was being beaten. The last sensations of pain left him. He no longer felt anything, though very faintly he could hear the impact of the club upon his body. But it was no longer his body, it seemed so far away." Chapter 5, pg. 88

Quote 23: "Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time...With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, a sort of pompous guardianship; and with the Judge himself, a stately and dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse." Chapter 6, pg. 92-93

Quote 24: "[Buck] sat by John Thornton's fire, a broad-breasted dog, white-fanged and long furred; but behind him were the shades of all manner of dogs, half-wolves and wild wolves, urgent and prompting, tasting the savor of the meat he ate, thirsting for the water he drank...lying down to sleep with him when he lay down, and dreaming with him and beyond him and becoming themselves the stuff of his dreams." Chapter 6, pg. 96-97

Quote 25: "Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call...he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest...But as often as he gained the soft unbroken earth and the green shade, the love for John Thornton drew him back to the fire again. Thornton alone held him. The rest of mankind was as nothing." Chapter 6, pg. 97

Quote 26: "He had caught the contagion of the excitement, and he felt that in some way he must do a great thing for John Thornton. Murmurs of admiration at his splendid appearance went up. He was in perfect condition, without an ounce of superfluous flesh...His furry coat shone with the sheen of silk...Men felt [his] muscles and proclaimed them hard as iron." Chapter 6, pg. 107

Quote 27: "[The] cheer began to grow and grow, which burst into a roar as he passed the firewood and halted at command. Every man was tearing himself loose, even Matthewson. Hats and mittens were flying into the air. Men were shaking hands, it did not matter with whom, and bubbling over in a general incoherent babel." Chapter 6, pg. 110

Quote 28: "Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing, barking softly or defiantly...Irresistible impulses seized him. he would be lying in camp, dozing lazily in the heat of the day, when suddenly his head would lift and his ears cock up, intent and listening, and he would spring on his feet and dash away, and on and on, for hours, though the forest aisles." Chapter 7, pg. 117

Quote 29: "But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called -- called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come." Chapter 7, pg. 118

Quote 30: "The blood-longing became stronger than ever before. He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived." Chapter 7, pg. 122

Quote 31: "Again Buck knew [the sounds] as things heard in that other world which persisted in his memory. He walked to the center of the open space and listened. It was the call, the many-noted call, sounding more luringly and compelling than ever before. And as never before, he was ready to obey. John Thornton was dead. The last tie was broken. Man and the claims of man no longer bound him." Chapter 7, pg. 134

Quote 32: "When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack." Chapter 7, pg. 137

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