Writing Techniques in The Call of the Wild

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London, who claimed to have learned style from Herbert Spencer's "Philosophy of Style" and praised the plain style of Rudyard Kipling, always maintained that matter should take precedence over form. In his least successful works this desire to write novels of ideas results in fragmented narration and static prose, but in The Call of the Wild London tells his story through action and character, avoiding the impulse to preach.

London believed wholeheartedly in the dictates of realism, maintaining that "A thing must be true, or it is not beautiful"; yet the particular power of The Call of the Wild comes from London's careful progression from the prosaic to the visionary, a stylistic transformation that parallels his protagonist's. Buck's experiences in the Southland of Judge Miller's ranch are described in subdued, matter-of-fact language; his initiation to the merciless violence of the Yukon is portrayed through terse, active statements; and his...

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This section contains 183 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Call of the Wild Study Guide
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The Call of the Wild from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.