How Bucks Refusal to Answer the Call of the Wild Demonstrated his Loyalty

Categories: Call of the wild

As the bitter cold begins to fade and the flowers begin to bloom, moose begin to migrate bringing with them the indians. While John Thornton continues his quest for more and more gold, he has forgotten about the dangers of the primitive north. In Jack London’s classic novel, The Call of the Wild, Buck, once a domesticated house dog, has evolved into a fearsome sled dog after being thrust into the harsh environment of the primitive north. While there he will face many life altering circumstances.

One of the many hardships Buck will face is the harsh trio of Hal, Charles, and Mercedes who would become Buck’s new inexperienced owners. He is beaten, starved, and endangered until he is saved by John Thornton, a loving and caring owner. Over the next few years Thornton and Buck will develop a strong and passionate relationship.

Buck will later on have to choose between his new beloved owner, or his primal instinct to answer the call of the wild. Buck will have to fight the urge to answer the call of the wild to stay with Thornton. John Thornton, a loving owner, will continue his pursuit to amass as much gold as possible which would ultimately result in his death which lets Buck be free, Buck would have never answered the call of the wild if John Thornton had not died as shown by Buck’s attachment to Thornton, as revealed through Buck’s refusal to answer the call in order to return to Thornton, and as also reflected in Buck’s annual visit to the valley where Thornton had died, In order to mourn the loss of his beloved owner.

Buck would never have answered the call of the wild if John Thornton had lived, as evidenced by the intense and passionate bond that Buck and Thornton shared. John Thornton and Bucks relationship was so much stronger than what Buck had experienced with the Judge, Buck’s former owner.

Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller’s down in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. With the Judge’s sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; and with the Judge himself, a sately dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.

With the Judge Buck shared a freindship, and with the Judge’s sons, Buck shared a partnership, however with Thornton he shared an intense love. Buck had never experienced true love with an owner before and the love that Buck felt for Thornton was passionate and true. Thornton saved Buck’s life, so Buck adored Thornton, and Buck developed a fierce love for Thornton. With such a strong bond and intense loving relationship with Thornton, it is not probable that Buck would have ever left Thornton to answer the call of the wild.

While Buck’s strong bond with Thornton would have stopped him from answering the call of the wild, Buck’s refusal to answer the call in order to return to Thornton shows the reality that Buck would never leave Thornton. They stopped by a running stream to drink, and, stopping, Buck remembered John Thornton. He sat down. The wolf started on toward the place from where the call surely came, then returned to him, sniffing noses and making actions as though to encourage him. But Buck turned about and started slowly on the back track. For the better part of an hour the wild brother ran by his side, whining softly. Then he sat down, pointed his nose upward and howled. It was a mournful howl, and Buck held steadily on his way he heard it grow faint and fainter until it was lost in the distance.

Buck had left camp with his wolf brother to answer the call while Thornton was piling more gold with his freinds. Buck knew he was answering the call of the wild at last and was finally content, That is until he recalled his beloved owner John Thornton and their close bond. Despite the wolf brother’s efforts to convince him to stay, Buck would continue on his way to camp and back to Thornton. The fact that Buck was answering the call, and he still chose to return to Thornton, demonstrates that Buck would never have left John Thornton to answer the call of the wild.

Although Buck’s denial of the opportunity to answer the call in order to return to Thornton shows that Buck would never have left Thornton, The fact that Buck visited the site of Thornton’s death every year certainly reveals the truth that Buck would never have left Thornton had he lived. After Thornton’s death, BUck would have no choice but to answer the call of the wild. Even though Buck now ran free in the wild at the head of the wolf pack, he still went every year to the valley where Thornton died in order to mourn the lost of Thornton.

In the summers there is one visitor, however, to that valley, of which Yeehats do not know. It is a great, gloriously coated wolf, like, and yet unlike, all other wolves. He crosses alone from the smiling timber land and comes down into an open space among the trees. Here yellow streams flows from the rotted moose hide sacks and sinks into the ground, with long grasses growing through it and vegetable mould overrunning it and hiding its yellow from the sun; and here he muses for a time, howling once, long and mourningfully, ere he departs. 

Buck was eventually able to answer the call, but Thronton had left an indelible impression on him. Buck would return to the valley where Thornton had died every summer to lament the loss of his beloved owner he would. This is where Buck would sit there and howl a long howl in mourning for Thornton. The weeds had engulfed John Thronton and his crew, burying them in their own graves, where Thornton would rest in mother nature after he died. Buck would have remained by John Thornton’s side if he had never died, as shown by his close loyalty to him, and he would never have been able to answer the call of the wild.

Works Cited

  1. London, Jack. The Call of the Wild. New York, Royal Fireworks Press, 2017.

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How Bucks Refusal to Answer the Call of the Wild Demonstrated his Loyalty. (2022, Apr 03). Retrieved from

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