The Call of the Wild is an adventure novel by Jack London, which takes place in the late 1800’s in northwest Canada. The story revolves around a dog named Buck, who is kidnapped from his owner and sold, as large, powerful dogs were needed to work in the harsh Klondike region. The novel is a short read, and in my opinion would be a great novel to introduce to elementary school or middle school classes as it has several, dare I say “redpill” lessons that should be introduced at a young age. The lessons that stand out most to me are as follows:
Adapting to Survive
As a pet California’s Santa Clara Valley, Buck lived a pampered life relative to the new life that he would live in the Klondike. In order to survive this harsh new environment, Buck had to observe the other dogs, observe his handlers, and quickly learn the ways of the wilderness. Moreover, Buck must also learn to adopt to having new handlers, and to not become too comfortable or set in the ways of one musher, given that he and some of his teammates are sold off throughout the story.
Being able to adapt to new environments, coworkers, and partners can help us to reach our goals in life as well, particularly for those of us that desire to live nomadic lifestyles.
Primal Laws Never Go Away
The primitive Laws of Survival and Force never go away, and are constantly judging every living thing. Modern civilization has cast a cloak over these laws, and many may even wish them away, but they are not going anywhere. Buck learned this lesson well throughout his journeys. The most paramount example of this is death of Curly, one of his comrades, savagely torn to shreds by a pack of huskies after trying to be friendly with them.
We may wish for fairness and kindness, even expect our adherence to the rules to be reciprocated, but in the real world, this is often not the case. It is therefore more appealing to get into a defensible position of power in order to take advantage of nature’s harsh laws rather than fall prey to them.
The Innate Desire to Dominate
Buck was not satisfied merely surviving; he wanted to dominate. Whether it was defeating Spitz in a fight to the death to lead the sled dog team, enduring the chase of the hunt to bring down the alpha bull of a moose herd, or becoming the dominant male of a wolf pack, Buck showed his belief that anything less than first place was losing.
The desire to conquer and to dominate resides in humans as well. Even the gamer nerd that is denied the pleasures of the flesh and has a scrawny frame that is unable to dominate others physically seeks the outlet of domination, conquest, and pwnage in his virtual world. We may not have to use the force of violence or want to dominate the wilderness, but we should heed the call to dominate, even if it is only our domicile or even merely mastering ourselves.
The Call of the Wild is a book that in my opinion should be on the reading lists of public schools. It is a piece of literature that contains lessons that are more beneficial than the feel-good lessons that many of us receive in our formative years that weaken us to the harsh realities of life.