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Call of the Wild Essay Questions: Analyzing the Themes of Jack London’s Captivating Work

Jack London’s classic novel, “Call of the Wild,” has been making headlines since its publication in 1903. The book’s central character, a dog named Buck, takes center stage as he journeys through the wilds of Alaska in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. High school and college students are often assigned to write essays on this book, and such assignments cover a wide range of topics. In this article, we delve deeper into exploring some common essay questions and provide in-depth analysis of the novel’s central themes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” is a timeless classic that is still relevant in modern times.
  • The central character, Buck, embarks on a transformative journey that highlights themes of love, loss, and personal growth.
  • This novel is an essential read for anyone interested in exploring the human condition through the eyes of a beloved animal protagonist.

Analyzing the Essay Questions:

Q1. What makes Buck a compelling character in “Call of the Wild”?

From the first page of the book, Buck comes to life as a character that immediately draws the reader’s attention. His physical strength, bravery, and loyalty are just some of the traits that endear him to fans of the book. However, Buck’s journey is also one of transformation, and it is here where the most compelling aspects of his character come to the fore.

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Q2. How does London’s use of setting shape the narrative of the book?

“Call of the Wild” takes place during the Klondike Gold Rush, a time when many people were drawn to Alaska in search of riches. London expertly weaves the setting into the narrative of the book, using it to shape the experiences of the central character, Buck. The harsh environment stands in stark contrast to Buck’s experiences as a pampered house pet, making the character’s journey all the more powerful.

Q3. Discuss the theme of survival in “Call of the Wild”.

At its core, “Call of the Wild” is a story about survival. Buck, in particular, must adapt to the harsh realities of his new life as a sled dog. London expertly weaves this theme throughout the book, demonstrating how survival instincts can drive an animal – or a person – to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Q4. How does Buck’s journey in “Call of the Wild” parallel that of a human character?

As Buck moves from domestication to wildness over the course of the book, he takes on qualities that are parallel to those of a human character. His journey is one of self-discovery, and he must navigate complex emotions like love, friendship, and loss along the way. As such, Buck is a powerful symbol of humanity’s own struggles with the natural world.


In conclusion, “Call of the Wild” is a literary masterpiece that speaks to readers of all ages. The book’s compelling characters, vivid setting, and powerful theme of survival have made it a classic that remains relevant in today’s modern world. We hope that this article has provided valuable insights to help students navigate the book’s central themes and craft compelling essays that do justice to London’s captivating work.

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What is the central message of “Call of the Wild”?

“Call of the Wild” explores themes related to the wildness and savagery of the natural world and the transformative power of survival instincts. It suggests that although humans may seek to domesticate nature, the innate wildness within creatures like dogs remains a powerful force that can ultimately not be contained.

Why is “Call of the Wild” still relevant today?

Despite being published over a century ago, “Call of the Wild” remains relevant today because it speaks to timeless themes related to the human condition. Its exploration of survival instincts, personal transformation, and the harsh realities of the natural world continue to resonate with readers of all ages.

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