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The Call of the Wild Jack London. Menu. Introduction Background Discussion Starters. The Call of the Wild Jack London. The Call of the Wild: Introduction. In a harsh and hostile environment like the Yukon Territory, . survival is the ultimate challenge.

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The Call of the Wild Jack London

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The Call of the Wild Jack London

Menu

Introduction

Background

Discussion Starters


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The Call of the Wild Jack London


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

In a harsh and hostile environment like the Yukon Territory,

survival is the ultimate challenge.


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

If strength, courage, and adaptability are the keys to survival,

then our hero, Buck, stands a pretty good chance.


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

When Buck is stolen from his comfortable home in California and sold as a sled dog,

he ends up working in the bitter cold of Alaska and Canada.


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

It’s not just the climate that’s changed.

The rules seem to be different, too.


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

In this new environment, Buck has to change the way he

  • sleeps

  • eats

  • relates to humans

  • interacts with other dogs


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

Buck is smart, tough, and alert.

He learns quickly how to survive as a sled dog.

He even challenges Spitz, the lead dog.


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The Call of the Wild: Introduction

No sooner has Buck adapted, though, than things begin to change again.

New owners,

heavier loads,

dangerously thin ice—

none of these changes will make life any easier for Buck. Or will they?


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The Call of the Wild: Background

In August 1896, gold—and lots of it—was discovered in Rabbit Creek in the Yukon Territory of western Canada.


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The Call of the Wild: Background

When news of the find reached the United States, the Klondike gold rush was on.


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The Call of the Wild: Background

The gold prospectors, known as “Klondikers,” faced harsh conditions:

  • temperatures 20 degrees below zero

  • starvation and malnutrition

  • long journeys on foot

  • hundreds of pounds of supplies to transport


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The Call of the Wild: Background

The indigenous people of Alaska and Canada began using sled dogs more than 1,000 years ago.

They depended on these dogs for

  • protection

  • transportation

  • hunting

  • companionship


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The Call of the Wild: Background

In the late 1800s, settlers and explorers started using the dogs to help them explore remote areas, deliver mail, and look for gold.


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The Call of the Wild: Background

Certain purebred dogs are commonly used as sled dogs.

Siberian huskies

Alaskan malamutes

Samoyeds


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The Call of the Wild: Background

Huskies, malamutes, and Samoyeds have a protective outercoat and an insulating undercoat, that helps them tolerate temperatures as low as –70° F.


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The Call of the Wild: Discussion Starters

Discuss (1)

The Call of the Wild is an unusual book because it is told from the point of view of a dog.

  • How do you think dogs view the world?

  • How does a dog’s perspective differ from a human’s? In what ways are the perspectives similar?


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The Call of the Wild: Discussion Starters

Discuss (2)

As Buck’s primitive, animal nature becomes stronger, he feels a longing to live as a wild animal instead of as a domesticated one.

  • Do humans, like dogs, sometimes hear “the call of the wild”?

  • What do you do when you feel the need to get closer to nature?


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