Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild

chapter 1:

from whose perspective is part of this chapter told? why is this view point a little unusual?

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The reader is immediately introduced to a primary tension in London's tale: The juxtaposition and interchange between the human and the animal. The first sentence of the chapter, "Buck did not read the newspapers," is ambiguous. It is also notable because it is repeated just a few lines later. Between the two instances where this sentence appears, London repeatedly plays with the reader's conceptions regarding dogs and people. Initially reading, One would assume that the Buck refers to a person. When London reveals that Buck is a dog, his illiteracy becomes logical. But, London continues to play with the concept of humanness when he describes Buck as a ruler, "king over all creeping, crawling, flying things of Judge Miller's place, humans included." Placing a dog above humans might seem laughable, but the author writes in such a simple, matter-of-fact tone that we are forced to take him seriously. He provides us with an account of Buck's relatives, much as one might do when introducing friends in the late nineteenth century. Buck lives the life of a "sated aristocrat," and he is egotistical as "country gentlemen" tend to be. He maintains a sleek figure through exercise, the same kinds of exercise that his humans engage in. It is also important to notice the class of society with which this dog is associated. The reader should not equate Buck with people in general, but rather with aristocrats, descendants of kings and queens. The success of the tale depends on the audience's ability to feel sympathy for Buck without losing their awe of him.