Naturalism in The call of the wild

By George Perez,2014-05-27 15:44
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Naturalism in The call of the wild



     Naturalism in The call of the wild

     The call of the wild is a story about a dog, Buck; it vividly depicts

     the life in the primitive North where people rushed for gold and fortune. Buck, used to belong to a judge, was kidnapped and sold to North. Then he became a member of a dog-team pulling a sled. In the days of pulling a snow-sled, he learned to conform to the law of nature and obey the master. Finally, he found a basic instinct hidden inside him, which enabled himself to survive the tough environment. 1.) In Naturalism, characters have no free will, extend and internal forces, while environment, or heredity control their behavior. In the beginning, Buck was tamed to be civilized, he lead a comfortable life as family dog. Everything went smoothly, until one day he was seized from his surroundings and shipped to Alaska to be a sled dog .Then his life changed totally. In a completely different environment, Buck needed learn countless lessons in order to survive. And he learnt well. And at the end, he gradually gained the mastery of the wild. It is not his own will to change and change totally, but the others. 2.) Jack London?? s naturalism can primarily be attributed to the fact that he was an ardent exponent of and a firm believer in the ??survival of the fittest?? theory .This concept, according to him, is a matter of the violence of force against force?ªthe weak dwindle into

     insignificance and perish . There was no room for the weak in London??s world. Only the strong prevailed and inhabited the world of the strong. When Buck is kidnapped, he attempts to attack one of the men who seized him, only to be beaten repeatedly with a club. Symbolizes Buck??s departure from the old, comfortable and leisure life of a pet in a warm climate, and his entrance into a new world where the only law is ??the law of club and fang??. And he has to try all means to alive; otherwise he would be beaten down. 3.) One of the features in Naturalism is forces of heredity and environment as they affect and afflict character. In the novel heredity is mainly represented in ??atavism??. ??Atavism ??is one of the themes of the call of the wild. It is an animal??s recovery of the instincts of his wild ancestors. For Buck, this recovery involves repeated visions of his primitive past, which usually occur late at night when he is lying alongside a campfire .He sees the men around him as primitive men, draped in furs and wary of the prehistorically dark around them, and then he has visions of himself as a primitive, wild creature, hunting his prey in the primeval forests. Each of these visions brings him closer to his density, which is the return to his ancestors?? ways and becoming a wild animal


     The Call of the Wild is a typical kind of naturalism novel. The

     determinism and ??survival of the fittest?? theory are clearly shown the

     characteristics of naturalism. The hero Buck??s changing from a gentle, moral, civilized family dog to a wild, cruel, uncivilized creature, the process is hard. It is a process of evolution, an evolution of certain group, that is, human beings or the wild nature. In the essence, they are the same, and has the same laws both human society and wild nature. The law is to understand and abide by the rules which that world has set up, and it is forbidden to break the rules otherwise, it would be true savagery and disrespect for life. Even though it has completely different laws in the civilized and the uncivilized worlds - in the wild, many conflicts are resolved by bloody fights rather than reasoned mediation. But in the essence, they are accordance with Darwin?? s theory; the only difference is just their different field .On the other hand, forces of heredity and environment as they affect the individual lives . The novel shows this theme in atavism ?ªthe recovery of the instinct of an animal??s ancestors. For Buck, he returns to his wild and be a leader of a pack of wolves. This tremendous change is not just his success in the frozen North and adapt to the struggle environment, but also his recovery of his instincts and memories that the wild ancestors possessed. Heredity plays an important role in his changing, and also be an internal reason. While the outer surroundings, is an external role. Both contribute Buck??s transformation .The Call of the

     Wild demonstrates Darwin??s theory and the heredity theory?ªwhich are

     the important features of naturalism. Furthermore, it gives us a new prospective to understand naturalism.


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