The Call of the Wild- Author’s purpose for using a dog as protagonist

The Call of the Wild- (Shmoop website)

After watching the video discussing Jack London’s main character, Buck, from The Call of the Wild, write a short response explaining why you think he chose to make Buck a dog. Use textual evidence to support your answer.

  • Allegory (is Buck a symbol for something else?)
  • Sympathy grabber
  • Realistic tale of an animal in the wild


17 thoughts on “The Call of the Wild- Author’s purpose for using a dog as protagonist

  1. I think Buck represents all of mankind, he shows how we are all fighting back our natural instincts by living in a civilized world instead of living in the wild and in nature like our ancestors naturally did. But he is shown as a dog to get the point across because people are more sympathetic and get more attached to dogs. I think he is an allegory and a sympathy grabber because Jack London wanted to prove his point to everybody in a way where we would all feel sympathetic.

  2. Jack London chose Buck as a dog because he wanted to show life in the wilderness through an animal to see what they would do in situations that might happen in the real world. He wanted to show the true nature of man and that we are not that different from dogs from an emotional point of view. I believe that Buck was a sympathy grabber because London wanted to engage readers in his book to feel what Buck was going through.

  3. jack made buck a dog so you fell more into the story. if it was a human some of the things wouldn’t be as important. most of the time you have a softer heart to animals and root for them to make to the end (except for splitz) that’s why I think jack made buck a dog

  4. Jack London made Buck a dog so that you will be more into the book and have the sympathy for the dog. If Jack London made Buck a human you will be bored, but since Buck is a dog you have the adventure and the sympathy in the book. Most people have a thing for animals and that’s why i think Jack London made Buck a dog.

  5. I think that Buck was made a dog because people love animals and always fall for them.Another reason is that a lot of good events that went on in the story wouldn’t have happened without Buck. if it was a human the story would have been boring and there wouldn’t have been as good of events as with Buck

  6. I think Jack London used buck for both allegory and a sympathy grabber. Buck is a symbol to show what extent you must go to to survive in the wild and how it changes and molds you into something new. He made Buck a dog for a sympathy grabber to get the attention of children/teens. Also many books have been made about surviving as a humans point of view so to get a new perspective is a good change.

  7. Jack London made Buck a realistic character of the wild because thats were all dogs were before humans domesticated them and used them as pets and for other purposes. I also think it was a sympathy grabber because the readers feel sorry for what the dog went through in the book

  8. I think the Author chose Buck (the main character) to be a dog instead of a human beacause, Dogs have the same emotions we feel. some of the reasons might include that, So many books are usually based on human drama and emotion. Yet he uses buck in the story too maybe apeale to dog lovers like myself. He uses Bucks feelings, and thoughts useing it in a human perspective. However i feel that dogs are like humans. After all they are all mans best friend. BARK!!

  9. I think call of the wild was a sympathy grabber. The reason for this is because if humans would have been stuck in the wild then like nobody would care, but since Jack London used a cute little innocent dog it made the story way more sadder. The reader would keep reading just to see what would happen to the dog and no one would be as sad if another human got sent to the woods. Which I think that is pretty bad that we wouldn’t be so so so sad if a human was in the predicament Buck was in.

  10. I think That Jack London had Buck as a dog because normally if a person were in the same situations then nothing would really have suspense…It probably would have been confusing if Buck wasn’t a dog.. But I agree that he gets sympathy and care out of the readers if it was a dog, rather than a human. (:

  11. I think Buck was a dog because Jack London wanted to grab peoples attention. His book isn’t another book about people breaking down and thrown into a unfamiliar place! Usually in people books you don’t get as involved as you do if it is something you have grown to love such as a animal. I think this book is a sympathy grabber, as Buck grows in this story you follow along with him. This story is about a dog because dogs usually live in harsh environments, not people.

  12. I think Jack London made buck as a dog because people have more emotional attachments to dogs. Also because it helps suck the reader into the book having the main character (protaginst) a dog. I also think people enjoy books more when the characters are not just humans but are a animal like Buck, and are sadder if they die in the story

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