Thursday, June 11, 2015

BookMarks - The Call of the Wild

Along the lines of the MovieNotes Section, this is my first attempt to write a short note on the books I complete reading. Hopefully this becomes an incentive to read more and further on write more as well. 

Title – The Call of the Wild 
Author – Jack London 

The book is set in the late 19th century and the discovery of gold in Yukon region provides for the back-drop of the story. The book tells the story of Buck, a domesticated dog, who is happily living a sheltered life in a big ranch in California, described as sun-kissed.  Dogs are in high demand for use in the harsh Alaskan environs. Buck is kidnapped and sold off by his owner’s gardener to be used as a sled dog. 

Buck passes from owner to owner while constantly having to adapt to his ever-changing environment. He not only adapts but also becomes the top-dog. He learns not only from his fellow dogs but also from the humans around him.  He becomes wilder as the effects of the generations of having been domesticated begin to wear off and the harsh environs takes its toll.

All this while, Buck is increasingly aware off a primal instinct calling him towards itself. It is only the love for his last master, who had saved him from near-death at the hands of his previous owners, which makes him resist this calling. However, once he finds that his master has been killed by local Indian tribals, all binds to human civilization are broken. He kills his master’s killers and moves into the wild. Here he joins and leads a pack of wolves. As time progresses his deeds attain near-mythical status with the local populace. 

The book is narrated entirely from the perspective of Buck. He is a quick learner and adapts fast to his surroundings. He is an explorer and a dreamer. Also he wants to be the leader and is ready to take on any challenge to prove himself as the leader of the pack. By the end of the tale, he has transitioned completely from a domesticated house dog in “sun-kissed” California to the leader of a wolf pack in cold and harsh Yukon region. 

In summary, The Call of the Wild is tale of the survivor spirit where the underlying principle is the survival of the fittest. Also the harsher the environment, the more the increase in brutality both in man and beast. And there is a primal spirit guiding all of us, although generations of civilized living has dampened this call.

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