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Personification in the Call of the Wild

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Introduction

Personification shapes the readers’ perception of Buck’s emotional state because it informs, compares, and reveals his development in Jack Londons’ The Call of the Wild. Buck grows and changes over the course of the novel, and his emotional state is displayed to the reader. London uses metaphors and similes to compare Buck’s personality to concrete things. London helps readers identify Buck’s emotional state by using personification.

Demonstrating Emotions

In this story, personification helps reveal Buck’s emotional state. For instance, “Love genuine love was his for the first time”(42). In the context of this, London describes how Buck felt for John Thorton: he felt genuine love. John Thorton was not just Buck’s master, but he was a father figure. He was treated more as Thornton’s child. London differs the owners in detail as a way to show how different people treat their dogs. Every dog is treated differently. For example, one person may be kind and fair, but another one may overwork and beat them. This helps identify his emotional state because it makes readers more aware of how Buck’s feels about his owners and of his emotions. Also about how he feels after being sold and how he might start to develop trust issues. Personification makes us feel more if Buck is a human rather than a dog. We feel more sympathetic and understand him better and we can maybe relate to him if we have ever felt as if change was necessary for our environment.

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Comparing Two Lives

Furthermore, personification helps compares Buck’s two lives. “He did not steal for the joy of it, but because of the clamor of his stomach. He did not rob openly, but stole secretly and cunningly out of respect for club and fang”(14). In ambience of this, London describes how Buck felt while stealing the food from his masters. He had done this because they only feed one piece of fish and that would not satisfy his hunger. Buck understands that if he would’ve gotten caught then he would be beaten, he knows this from experience. Buck has accumulated many new traits from his new environment; he is a very adaptable dog.

Showing Intelligence

Additionally, personification reveals Buck’s intelligence and retrogression. “The first theft marked Buck as fit to survive in the hostile Northland environment. It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death.” (13) In the context of this Buck steals and that marks him as fit for the Northland. He is ready and has fully adapted to the new land. His imagination has grown, killing Spitz was another way of showing the team that he’s tough and is boss.

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