The Call of the Wild Themes & Topics

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The Call of the Wild is a mythic romance, a beast fable, in which the transformation of Buck, the canine protagonist, offers readers a vicarious return to life lived immediately, a life which transcends civilized restraints and regulations. The book's central theme traces the development of a hero through rites of passage that lead to self-knowledge, and the story follows the archetypal pattern of departure, initiation, growth, and apotheosis.

Buck's decivilization is a quest for the essence of life, a journey which begins in the sheltered world of Judge Miller's California ranch, proceeds through brutal confrontations with the natural world of the Yukon, and then leaps beyond to the realm of myth where Buck glories in the unanalyzed "tidal wave of being" that paradoxically brings "the complete forgetfulness that one is alive."

The novella also expresses London's belief that environment and heredity largely control existence, for Buck's transformation...

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This section contains 323 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Call of the Wild Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Call of the Wild from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.