Jack London "The Call of the Wild"

Jack London "The Call of the Wild"

Jack London "The Call of the Wild"


Jack London

This story is about a dog called Buck, who is taken to live in the Northland - the far northwest of Canada. In the Northland, there are mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. You can travel for hours without seeing people or houses, and there are many wild animals, such as bears, moose, chipmunks, squirrels and wolves. Winters there are very cold and very long, and in some parts the ground is frozen all year. Because this part of North America is very near the Arctic Circle, the days stay dark in the middle of winter, and in summer the light lasts all night.

The Call of the Wild is about the time of the “gold rush”, when people came by ship in search of gold. They came to the towns of Dyea or Skagway in Alaska, and then traveled by land to Bennett Lake or Lake Lindeman. There they built boats or rafts to take them down the Yukon River to Dawson City, near the gold fields, taking everything they needed with them. In the winter, the Yukon River was frozen, and people carried their things on sleds pulled by dogs. Because of this, they needed strong dogs with warm coats to pull their sleds. Some people found gold and became very rich, but most found nothing at all.

This story begins when Buck, a large, warm-coated dog, is stolen from his home in California and taken to Seattle, where he is sold. His first masters, Perrault and Francois, work for the Canadian government carrying things from place to place along the Yukon Trail. Later, Buck and his sled-team also work for a Scottish-Canadian man, carrying letters to and from Dawson. At the end of the story, Buck lives with John Thornton, an American who is looking for gold with his friends Hans and Pete. To find gold, they have to dig in stream beds. They then wash away the stones and dirt from their pans to see if they have found gold.


Text Analysis: Unique words: about 1,400 Total words: about 15,970
Hard words: moos, chipmunk, squirrel, wolf, frozen, raft, sled, master, Yukon Trail, dirt, caged, shepherd dog, dog St. Bernard, proud, rope, trust, growl, surprise, breathe, bit, railroad car, bark, ax, hit, devil, law-maker, tongue, embarrassed, rule, husky, shining, harness, whip, fiercely, tent, team, fear, melt, howled, death, cliff, tear, one by one, fight to the death, Northern Lights, pain, good run, load, chase, roll, finish off, bone, team together, strength, weak, tempered, begin, limp, States, sensibly, mush, scream, setter, shadow, bank, drown, rib, bet, muscles, cheer, mine, sooner or later, gorge, antler, lost his head


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