A Change of Environment

In Call of the Wild by Jack London, Buck is finding a way to survive among the other viscious dogs in an extremely wretched landscape. The drastic change in personalities that Buck has when he is with his rightful owner compared to when he his with other competitive dogs is very interesting to observe. Currently I am interested in analyzing how one’s environment can affect their behavior and attitudes for the better or worse. In order to highlight this change in behavior, London comments, “In this manner had fought forgotten ancestors. They quickened the old life within him, the old tricks which they had stamped into the heredity of the breed were his tricks” (London 31). This quote demonstrates that even though Buck was accustomed to his comfortable life on Judge Miller’s ranch, his sudden change in environment triggered an instinctual behavior to survive.

The most interesting part of the story is the way London decides to end it. When Buck avenges the death of one of his owners, he is given a choice to either remain in the wild or go back to his comfortable life with Judge Miller. Shockingly, Buck is consumed by his evolutionary behavior and decides to continue to go through the misery he suffers in the wild instead of returning to his previous heaven-like life with Judge Miller. Buck’s decision showed that even in domesticated dogs there is a desire to connect with their ancestors.


2 thoughts on “A Change of Environment

  1. Thank you for sharing, Nihar. Now that you’ve read the narrative, what do you think you’ll want to focus on for the research paper? You’ll want to think about some of the rhetorical choices that the author makes – his use of point of view, setting, etc.

  2. Nihar, your analysis on how the environment effects ones paycheck is surprising similar to other stories of ones setting affecting their mentality, within our society. For example, the recent class book we read, “Into the Wild” describes Chris McCandless, a transcendentalist who refused to assimilate with societal norms, and instead live of the land. Even when offered jobs, supplies, and family or friends to return to, Chris constantly decided to go back to the wilderness, by himself. Therefore, one can assume that this evolutionary behavior you mentioned about mammals wanting to return to the wild resonates not only in dogs, but humans as well.

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