Call of the Wild

Main characters

Major dog characters:

  • Buck, the novel's protagonist; a 140-pound St. Bernard–Scotch Collie mix who lived a happy life in California with Judge Miller. However, he was stolen and sold to the Klondike by the gardener's assistant Manuel and was forced to work in harsh conditions of being a sled dog in the Yukon. He eventually finds a loving master named John Thornton and begins to grow feral as he becomes a part of the wild with a pack of wolves. After Thornton's death, he becomes free from humanity and becomes a legend in the Klondike.
  • Spitz, the main antagonist of the novel and Buck's arch-rival; a white-haired husky from Spitsbergen who had accompanied a geological survey into the Canadian Barrens. He has a long history as a sled-dog leader, and sees Buck's uncharacteristic ability, for a Southland dog, to adapt and thrive in the North as a threat to him. He repeatedly provokes fights with Buck, who bides his time.
  • Dave, the "wheel dog" at the back end of the dog-team. He is brought North with Buck and Spitz and is a faithful sled-dog who only wants to be left alone and led by an effective lead-dog. During his second down-trek on the Yukon Trail, he grows mortally weak, but the men accommodate his pride by allowing him to continue to drive the sled until he becomes so weak that he is euthanized.
  • Billie, a good-natured, appeasing husky who faithfully pulls the sled until being worked to death by Hal, Charles, and Mercedes.
  • Joe, Billie's brother, but with an opposite personality—"sour and introspective". Spitz is unable to discipline him, but Buck, after rising to the head of the team, brings him into line.
  • Sol-leks ("The Angry One"), a one-eyed husky who, unsurprisingly, doesn't like being approached from his blind side. Like Dave, he "expects nothing, gives nothing", and only cares about being left alone and having an effective leader.
  • Pike, "a clever malingerer and thief"; Dub, "an awkward blunderer ... always getting caught"; Teek; and Koona—additional huskies on the Yukon-Trail dog-team.
  • Skeet and Nig—two Southland dogs owned by John Thornton when he acquires Buck.
  • The Wild Brother, a lone wolf who befriends Buck.

Major human characters:

  • Judge Miller, Buck's first master who lived in Santa Clara Valley, California with his family. Unlike Thornton, he only expressed friendship with Buck, whereas Thornton expressed love.
  • Manuel, Judge Miller's assistant who sells Buck to the Klondike to pay off his gambling debt.
  • Perrault, a French-Canadian courier for the Canadian government who is Buck's first Northland master.
  • François, a French-Canadian half-breed who is Perrault's partner, the musher who drives the sled dogs.
  • Hal, an aggressive and violent musher who is Mercedes' brother and Charles' brother-in-law, and is inexperienced with the way of sled dogs.
  • Charles, Mercedes' husband who is less violent than Hal.
  • Mercedes, a spoiled and pampered woman who is Hal's sister and Charles' wife.
  • John Thornton, a gold hunter who is Buck's final master until he is killed by the Yeehats.
  • Pete and Hans—John Thornton's two partners as he pans for gold in the East.
  • The Yeehats, a tribe of Native Americans. After they kill John Thornton, Buck attacks them, and "dogs" them ever after, after going wild—making sure they never re-enter the valley where his last master was murdered.
  • The Man in the Red Sweater, a trainer who beats Buck to teach him the law of the club.

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