The Call of the Wild  by Jack London
WebQuest for The Call of the Wild
Vocabulary for Call of the Wild
Dogsled Mail Links
Call of the Wild Jeopardy
"Sometimes" by Herman Hesse
Men in Fur? Jack London's Portrayal of Buck.
The Real Buck.
A Ton of Stuff?
Types of Businesses in the Yukon.
Final Project options for The Call of the Wild
"The King of Mazy May" by Jack London

"...he had a fine pride in himself, was even a trifle egotistical, as country gentlemen sometimes
become because of their insular situation..."

   1.(1) In this excerpt from The Call of the Wild, Jack London is describing a dog, Buck. What do we
     call this technique of giving human characteristics to non-human things?
   2.(1) "Translate" the above excerpt.

  1. On Judge Miller's estate, Buck lived the life of... a) a pampered house dog.  b) a fox hunting dog.  c) an isolated pet.  d) a king.
  2. How old is Buck?
  3. (quote) Why did Manuel steal Buck?
  4. What technique does Jack London use to give Buck the characteristics of a person?
  5. What does Jack London mean when he says that having a rope around his neck "was an unwonted performance for" Buck? a) It hurts him.  b) He doesn't want it around his neck.  c) This is not normal for him.  d) He liked it.
  6. The city nearest to Santa Clara would be...a) San Diego.  b) Santa Monica.  c) San Miguel.  d) San Jose.
  7. (quote) What excuse does the man on the train give to the baggage handler for Buck's attack on him?
  8. (4) What four modes of transportation does Buck take to get Seattle?
  9. (2) For two days on the last mode of transportation, Buck didn't _______ or ________.
  10. (quote) What was the reaction of the four men who carried Buck's crate, when the man in the red sweater opened it?
  11. (quote) What nickname does the man in the red sweater give Buck?
  12. "T'ree vair' good dogs. Dat Buck, heem pool lak a devil. I tich heem queek as anyt'ing."
  13. "Gif it to heem, by Gar! Gif it to heem, the dirty t'eef."
  14. "Ere (which means a)____________)  they returned to camp, he knew enough to b) _________ at "ho," to c) ____________ at "mush," and to swing wide on the bends..."

Match the dog with the description.You will obviously use dogs more than once.
Curly, Dave, Billee, Joe, Sol Leks, Spitz, Buck
  1. tried to sleep in Francois's and Perrault's tent.
  2. dead.
  3. (3) introverted.
  4. even from the start Spitz left him alone.
  5. one-eyed.
  6. too nice.
  7. (2) "asked nothing, gave nothing, expected nothing..."
  8. so scary-looking that even Spitz finally left him alone.
  9. lead dog pulling the sled.
  10. had a "perpetual snarl and a malignant eye."
  11. (2) "utterly transformed by the harness."
  12. unwittingly taught Buck how to sleep in the snow.
  13. (2) Buck was placed between them in order that he might be taught by them.
  14. received a bigger ration of fish than the other dogs each day.
  15. quickly learned how to steal food

(5) List 5 of the changes in Buck (physical, mental, skills) by the end of Chapter 2.

1. Read about the real Buck. Right-click the link, open in new window, and read paragraph II. The picture at the top shows the dog. Answer the following questions in your notebook after you have read.
  1. True or False. The character of Buck is based on two real dogs, much like Tom Sawyer was based on three people Mark Twain grew up with.
  2. True or False. Jack London didn't like to talk to his dogs.
  3. True or False. Jack London was mean to his dogs.
  4. True or False. Jack London liked to give dogs cute nicknames.
  5. What did the man say London gave to his dogs that few other people give theirs?
2.  Some critics at the time The Call of the Wild came out criticized it for being a story about "men in fur." They said that Jack London's dogs weren't like real dogs at all, that they were too human-like, too anthropomorphic. What do you think? Is Buck too human-like? What evidence do you have so far? Click the next link, and read various hypotheses for London's portrayal of Buck. Copy the one that comes closest to yours into your notebook. If you don't agree with any of them, write your own. Make the chart in your notebook, and find your first piece of evidence from the text that supports your theory. Copy the quote or explain the example. Record the page number.

1.True or False. Buck was always on the lookout for an opportunity to attack Spitz.
   2.What did Spitz do that finally drove Buck to attack him?
   3.True or False. Francois encouraged Buck in his first fight with Spitz.
   4.How many huskies invaded the camp at that moment?  a) 20 or 30.  b) 15 or 20.  c) close to 100.  d) 50.
   5.(Quote) What made them so fierce and inexorable?
   6.Name one thing besides the food that the huskies ate.
   7.True or False. Only Buck escaped unhurt by the invasion.
   8.Why does Perrault carry a long pole?
   9.What does Francois make for Buck?
  10.What happened to Dolly? (Be specific.)
  11.Why were the other dogs no longer afraid of Spitz? (Be specific.)
  12.How did Francois feel about Buck's "cold war" with Spitz for leadership? a) He felt that if Buck could take Spitz on, he should.  b) That Buck lack of respect for Spitz was ruining the team.  c) That Spitz deserved what he got.  d) He hoped they would fight and get it over with.
  13.(2) The only dogs unaffected by Buck's and Spitz's feuding were __________ and ____________.
  14.Explain what the line on p_______ that begins, "At the sound of this, the cry of Life..." means.
  15.What does Buck finally do in order to defeat Spitz?

Going to the Klondike to hunt for gold? Better take enough stuff!
Only the essential types of businesses managed to get going in the Yukon...(Notice what the three most numerous types of businesses are. Notice also that there are 4 cemeteries!)
The Dogsled Mail. Francois and Perrault were Canadian mail carriers.
Make sure you're using Internet Explorer, and follow the links to see how it really was.
  1. True or False? Buck was often homesick for his old life at Judge Miller's place.
  2. True or False? The mail drivers always took care of themselves and the camp before the dogs.
  3. True or False? Dave resented being rested when he was hurting.
  4. True or False? The other dogs all wonder what happened to Dave.
  5. How many days of rest does Buck get in his last 1,800 miles? a) 2 days.  b) 5 days.  c) 10 days.  d) 12 days.
  6. What vocabulary word describes what Buck thought of Hal and Charles?
  7. (4) Give 4 examples that show Buck was right.
  8. (quote) What advice did the "kindhearted cititzens" give Hal and Co. if they ever wanted to reach Dawson?
  9. (2) Name two of the things the more experienced people tell Hal and Co. to throw out.
  10. Hal was proud that his dog team had 14 dogs. But why did he not see anyone else with a 14-dog team?
  11. (2) What 2 things made it inevitable that they should run out of food?
  12. From Buck's point of view, how are Hal and Co. just like the new dogs Hal bought?

  1. What's the example Jack London uses to show why oftentimes, Hal and Co. couldn't even get a fire started?
  2. Hal and Co.'s sled is heavier than usual, not only because they brought too much stuff, but also because...
  3. What happened to the 6 new dogs that Hal bought? (Be specific.)
  4. (2) When the food ran out, what did Hal feed the dogs? How did he get it?
  5. True or False? John Thornton was so certain and sure of himself, that he knew Hal and Co. would follow the advice he gave them.
  6. (Quote) What did Thornton say was the only reason Hal and Co. had made it to his camp without falling through the ice?
  7. Toward the end of their journey with Hal and Co., what was the only way the dogs would get up and pull?
  8. How does Hal end up with John Thornton? (Be specific.)

  9. What happens to Hal and Co.? (Be specific.)
  10.  "The poor dears! Now you must promise you won't be harsh with them for the rest of the trip, or I won't go a step."
  11. You've learned your place, and I know mine. Be a good dog and all'll go well and goose hang high. Be a bad dog, and I'll whale the stuffin' outa you."
  12. "Wot I say? Dat Buck for sure learn queek as anyt'ing."
  13. "They told us we couldn't make White River, and here we are."
  14. "You poor devil."
  15. "Twist it, an' you'll choke 'm plentee."
  16. "They're lazy, I tell you, and you've got to whip them to get anything out of them."
  17. "If you strike that dog again, I'll kill you."
  18. déja vu is a ___________ term that literally means ______ ________. It describes the feeling that...?
  19. Charlie Gordon, Kino, John and Lorraine, Buck. What do they all have in common?What did Buck experience for the first time with John Thornton?
  20. What could Buck not do to John Thornton because of this?
  21. (quote a simile) How did Thornton treat his dogs differently than other men?
  22. How did Buck demonstrate his affection for John Thornton?
  23. (quote) Why did Buck never let Thornton out of his sight?
  24. (quote) In Buck's mind, what did not exist in the "primordial life because it was misunderstood for fear"?
  25. (p738-739) The words shades (not the "green shade" of the forest), as it is used here, most nearly means... a) things that block light.  b) ghosts.  c) illusions.  d) dreams.
  26. What keeps Buck from following "the call of the wild"?
  27. What does Thornton do to demonstrate Buck's loyalty?
  28. (quote) How does Thornton feel about this kind of loyalty?
  29. True or False? Buck killed "Black" Burton for hitting John Thornton.
  30. (2) Draw a diagram of the mistake Buck made the second time he tried to save Thornton in the river, and the way he corrected it on his successful third try.
  31. What was different about the way Hal and Co. meet John Thornton in the movie version versus the novel?

  1. What happened to Buck in the course of saving Thornton from the river?
  2. Why did Thornton and his partners need the money Buck won for them?
  3. What was there a debate about before Buck attempted his pull?
  4. What were the odds against Buck after that debate?
  5. How many people (besides Thornton and Co.) took the bet that Buck could do it?
  6. How much money did Thornton and Co. bet on Buck?
  7. How much did they win?
  8. What was the 1000 lbs. made up of?
  9. (quote) What does Thornton say to encourage Buck when he pulls the 1000 lb. sled?
  10. Explain what the last sentence of Chapter 6 means.
  11. (3) Give three(+) examples from Chapter 6 that show why it is called "For the Love of a Man."
  12. (2) What two things "principally made up the load on the sled" for Thornton and Co?
  13. True or False. Since they could only eat what they killed, Thornton and Co. often went hungry.
  14. John Thornton and Co... a) found the Lost Cabin.  b) found gold.  c) didn't find anything.  d) found the mine, but it was a dud.
  15. What vision keeps returning to Buck as he sits by the fire?
  16. Which quote best sums up the first four pages of Chapter 7? (p747-p750) a) "The salient thing of this other world seemed fear." (p748)  b) "But in the end Buck's pertinacity was rewarded..." (p749) c) "To Buck it was boundless delight, this hunting, fishing, and indefinite wandering..." (p747)  d) "Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing..." (p748)
  17. (2) Why was Buck able to catch the wild wolf?
  18. After Buck returns from his time with the wolf, why does he, for two days, never let Thornton out of his sight?  a) He loves Thornton so much.  b) He's trying to protect Thornton from the wolves.  c) Buck's afraid he'll leave for good.  d) He didn't like it out there.