The Call Of The Wild is a novel by Jack London. The story was published in 1903 and is still considered a classic novel. In this article I have listed 20 of my favorite quotes from the story, and I have given a short summary of the story.
In the novel Buck is a strong dog that is living with a nice family in California. Buck lives a pampered life, having all of his food given to him and not having to work at all. One day one of the servants working at the house sells Buck. Buck ends up in Alaska in the harsh cold environment. Buck struggles to adapt to the change in scenery but eventually finds himself competing to be top dog in a dog pack.
Buck becomes involved in a struggle for power with another dog, Spitz. They end up fighting and Buck wins, taking over as leader of a sled dog team. The dog sled team ends up changing ownerships multiple times. Bucks new owner gets the whole team killed, luckily Buck is saved by a kind man named John Thornton.
Buck learns to love his new owner and saves him from death on several occasions. John and a few other men go on a voyage with Buck to find gold in the wilderness of Alaska and succeed in finding huge amounts of gold. While searching for gold, Buck went off into the wilderness many times sometimes stay out for weeks at a time.
At the end of Call of the Wild, Thornton is killed by the Yeehat tribe. Buck takes revenge and kills the all. He then joins and leads a pack of wild dogs, who roam through the wilderness of Alaska.
Quote: “Men,groping in the Arctic darkness, had found yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation company were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil and furry coats to protect them from the frost.”
Quote:“Perrault knew dogs, and when he looked at Buck he knew that he was one in a thousand- “One in ten t'ousand,” he commented mentally.”
Quote:“So sudden was it, and so unexpected, that Buck was taken aback. He saw Spitz run out his scarlet tongue... he saw Francois swinging an axe, spring into a mess of dogs. Three men with clubs were helping him scatter them. It did not take long. Two minutes from the time Curly went down, the last of her assailants were clubbed off. But she lay there limp and lifeless in the bloody, trampled snow, almost literally torn to pieces, the swart half-breed standing over her and cursing horribly... No fair play. Once down, that was the end of you. Well, he would see to it that he never went down. Spitz ran out his tongue and laughed again, and from that moment Buck hated him with a bitter and deathless hatred.”
Quote:“A shout from Francois hailed his appearance. “Wot I say?” the dog-driver cried to Perrault. “Dat Buck for sure learn queek as anyt'ing.”
Quote:“His muscles became as hard as iron, and he grew callous to all ordinary pain. He achieved internal as well as external economy. He could eat anything, no matter how loathsome or indigestible; and, once eaten, the juices in his stomach extracted the last least particle of nutriment; and his blood carried it to the farthest reaches of his body....And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long and dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him.”
Quote:“Thus, as a token of what a puppet thing life is, the ancient song surged through him and he came into his own again; and he came because men had found a yellow metal in the North, and because Manuel was a gardener's helper whose wages did not lap over the needs of his wife and drivers small copies of himself.”
Quote:“Buck's feet were not so compact and hard as the feet of the huskies. His had softened during the many generations since the day his last wild ancestor was tamed by a cave-dweller or river man.”
Quote:“Splendid running was achieved not without great trouble and vexation on the part of Francois. The insidious revolt led by Buck had destroyed the solidarity of the team. It no longer was as one dog leaping in the traces. The encouragement Buck gave the rebels led them into all kinds of petty misdemeanors. No more was Spitz a leader greatly to be feared.”
Quote:“Francois knew he was behind all the trouble, and Buck knew he knew,”
Quote:“In a flash Buck knew it. The time had come. It was to the death.... To Buck it was nothing new or strange, this scene of old time. It was as though it had always been wonted way of things. Spitz was a practiced fighter... In passion to rend and destroy, he never forgot that his enemy was in like passion to rend and destroy.”
Quote:"Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good.”
Quote:““Eh? Eh? Francois cried, slapping his thighs gleefully. “Look at dat Buck. Heem keel dat Spitz, heem t'ink to take de job.” “ Go 'way, Chook!” he cried, but Buck refused to budge.”
Quote:“He lay gasping in the snow and yearning toward them... Here the train halted. The Scotch half-breed slowly retraced his steps to the camp they had left. The men ceased talking. A revolver shot rang out. The men came back hurriedly. The whips snapped, the bells tinkled merrily, the sleds churned along the trail; but Buck knew, and every dog knew, what had taken place behind the belt of the river.”
Quote: "He had caught the contagion of the excitement, and he felt that in some way he must do a great thing for John Thornton. Murmurs of admiration at his splendid appearance went up. He was in perfect condition, without an ounce of superfluous flesh...His furry coat shone with the sheen of silk...Men felt his muscles and proclaimed them hard as iron."
Quote: " Every man was tearing himself loose, even Matthewson. Hats and mittens were flying into the air. Men were shaking hands, it did not matter with whom, and bubbling over in a general incoherent babel."
Quote: "Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing, barking softly or defiantly...Irresistible impulses seized him. he would be lying in camp, dozing lazily in the heat of the day, when suddenly his head would lift and his ears cock up, intent and listening, and he would spring on his feet and dash away, and on and on, for hours, though the forest aisles."
Quote : "But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called -- called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come."
Quote: "The blood-longing became stronger than ever before. He was a
killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived."
Quote: "Again Buck knew [the sounds] as things heard in that other world
which persisted in his memory. He walked to the center of the open space and listened. It was the call, the many-noted call, sounding more luringly and compelling than ever before. And as never before, he was ready to obey. John Thornton was dead. The last tie was broken. Man and the claims of man no longer bound him."
Quote: "When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their
meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack."
Quote: "All that stirring of old instincts which at stated periods drives men out from the sounding cities to forest and plain to kill things by chemically propelled leaden bullets, the blood lust, the joy to kill -- all this was Buck's, only it was infinitely more intimate. He was ranging at the head of the pack, running the wild thing down, the living meat, to kill with how own teeth and wash his muzzle to the eyes in warm blood."