Jack London Study Guides

  • Jack London

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  • The Call of the Wild

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    The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London about Buck, a St. Bernard-Scotch Collie who, after being stolen and mistreated by numerous owners, ends up in a dog-sled team in Canada. After fighting and killing the lead dog, Spitz, Buck becomes the leader. Buck is traded amongst various outdoorsmen until finally being rescued by John Thornton, who recognizes his exceptionality. After Yeehat natives kill Thornton, Buck avenges his death and enters the wild to live with a timber wolf. Loyalty, cruelty and nature are themes throughout.

  • To Build a Fire

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    "To Build a Fire" is a short story by Jack London about a man in the Yukon traveling through the woods on a cold winter's day. After his mouth is frozen shut by saliva, he attempts to start a fires that is doused when snow falls from a tree. He tries repeatedly but fails because his limbs grow numb and lose coordination. He attempts to run to his destination but, after collapsing several times, dies. The story deals with themes of man versus nature and the will to live.

  • White Fang

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    White Fang is the story of the titular wilderness-born wolf-dog's road to domestication and the process of his bonding with Weedon Scott, a man who saves him from a succession of cruel owners. White Fang, told in part from the animal's perspective, is a story of the intense cruelty of both nature and the human world. It ruminates on dog-fighting, animal abuse, and the real love that can grow between owners and their pets.

  • The Iron Heel

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    The Iron Heel is the story of the life of Avis Everhard in the near future after the rise of a powerful oligarchy, the title organization, of Trusts and tycoons. Avis becomes involved with a man named Ernest and the two become entangled in a rising revolution. While the revolution is eventually crushed and the two lovers executed, a secondary narrative by scholar Anthony Meredith, writing from the fictional universe's future, suggests that their efforts were not in vain.

  • The Sea-Wolf

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