Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Buck is a powerful dog who lives on Judge Miller’s estate in Santa Clara Valley. However, when men discover gold in a region of Canada, there is a great demand for strong dogs who are able to pull sleds. This causes Buck to be kidnapped by a random gardener on the estate, then sold to dog traders. Buck is then shipped to the North. He is bemused by the cruelty shown to animals, as he himself was beaten with a club by a man with a red sweater.
Buck is slowly trying to adjust to living in Dyea, but is having a hard time doing so. The dogs in Buck’s vicinity are savage and roughly attacked each other. So much so, that Curly’s face gets ripped off, and he dies, with Spitz, the meanest dog in Buck’s opinion, laughing. This sparks Bucks strong hatred for Spitz. Curly’s death transitions into this harder and rougher way of life.
Buck also tries to get used to sleeping in his tent because of the coldness that prevents him from doing so. Buck then learns that he should dig a hole in the snow and sleep. He realizes that to survive in this nightmare, he had to take care of himself. Finally, Buck loses his softness and steals, to get food. All these new actions of Buck tells the reader that Buck is trying his best to adjust to a new life and environment.
As Buck struggles to survive in the Wild North, his hard feelings for Spitz increase , and the two find it hard not to get into fights. One night, Buck settles in an area, but leaves to go get food. When he gets back, he finds the place occupied by Spitz. This was the last straw for Buck and he pounces on Spitz. They circle each other, ready to fight, but just then they hear Perrault yelling and witness almost a hundred huskies bolting into the campsite. These wild dogs are so thin that their bones are sticking out.
These vicious beasts attack Buck, and eventually, the dogs run away, and all the dogs are injured or hurt. Buck is constantly explaining the hardships of living in the wild. Four hundred miles of trail remain, and the team reaches the most difficult stretch—frozen lakes and rivers where the surface is partially melted. Many die after attempting to break through the rigid cold ice. One of the dogs, Dolly, goes mad and chases Buck, which ultimately leads to Francois to kill her.
As the rivalry between Spitz and Buck grows, everyone knows a fight to the death is inevitable. Finally, it happens. Buck witnesses Spitz killing an innocent rabbit. Fury controlling him, Buck pounces on Spitz, creating an unavoidable fight. As they both attack each other, Buck ends up dripping with blood, with Spitz virtually untouched.
The next morning, Perrault and Fracois discover Spitz dripping with blood dead, and value Buck’s nerve. Buck tries to let Sol-leks know that he is the leader now, but Francois, filled with rage, stops Buck, and promotes Sol-leks to the leader. Buck retreats, but refuses to take his old position, making it clear what he wanted. Eventually, Francois and Perrault realize this, and Buck takes his new position.
He easily takes up the job and even proves himself superior to Spitz, who Francois had never seen an equal. He excelled in giving orders and making his buddies live up to it. He also shows of his newfound superiority by punishing dogs who disobey him. Two more native huskies are added to the team, and Buck swiftly breaks them in. With Buck as their leader, the team was able to cover the Thirty Mile River in one day, even though it took them ten days to cross it before.
Averaging forty miles a day, they reach Skaguay in record time, a remarkable journey that makes them extremely popular for a short while. The speed record that they made it to Skaguay tells two things. One, Buck is a born leader and secondly that he is the fiercest of them all. Unfortunately, Perrault and Francois receive official orders that take them elsewhere, and they are gone from Buck’s and the team’s life. The team then travels back to Dawson, but they struggle to do so.
They are forced to travel 1800 miles in bad weight and conditions, and they get virtually no rest. However, one of the dogs, Dave, is suffering from a strange illness that no one can diagnose. The men realize he is too weak to work and attempt to take him out of his position, but he protests until they put him back into his rightful place. Even though Dave wants to die working, the next day he is too weak to travel. He attempts to go to his regular position but collapses instead. This causes the Scotsman to shoot Dave.
A month later, the dogs and men arrive at Skaguay tired and restless. The dogs are replaced with a fresh team, and Buck and his mates are sold to two men recently arrived from the States. The new owners, Hal and Charles, are less organized and professional than the previous drivers; Hal carries a knife and a heavy gun, but they are obviously inexperienced and out of place in the Northland. Buck also meets Mercedes, the wife of Charles and the brother of Hal. Mercedes is a pampered self-absorbed woman who exaggerates too much, and Buck quickly takes a disliking for her.
As time passes by, Buck and the team slowly start to hate their new owners. Firstly, Hal and Charles barely know what they are doing, and add six more inexperienced dogs to the team. Secondly, the group was covering barely any ground due to Mercedes frequent and selfish demands to do so. To make matters even worse