Title: The Call of the Wild Test Questions and Answers: Insights into Themes and Characters
The Call of the Wild is a novel that was written by Jack London in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush, and the primary character is a domestic dog named Buck who is stolen from his comfortable home and sold into the world of the wild. The novel explores themes of survival, instinct, and the relationship between humans and animals. It is a popular choice for high school and college literature classes, and a frequent topic of test questions. In this article, we will explore the most commonly asked test questions and provide detailed answers, along with insights into the themes and characters of the novel.
1. Who is the protagonist of The Call of the Wild?
The protagonist of the novel is the dog, Buck. He is a large and powerful domestic dog who is stolen from his comfortable life in Santa Clara, California, and sold into the harsh world of the Canadian Yukon. Buck undergoes a transformation as he adapts to his new surroundings, learns to trust his instincts, and becomes a leader among the sled dogs.
2. What is the central conflict of the novel?
The central conflict of the novel is between Buck's domesticated nature and his instinctual desire to live in the wild. Buck is torn between the world of humans and the world of animals. He must choose between his loyalty to his human masters and his primal urge to be free in the wilderness. The conflict is resolved when Buck finally embraces his true nature and becomes one with the wild.
3. How does Buck change throughout the novel?
Buck undergoes a significant transformation as he adapts to the harsh realities of life in the Yukon. He initially struggles to survive among the other sled dogs, but he gradually learns to assert his dominance and become a leader. Buck becomes more and more feral as he spends time in the wild, shedding his domesticated behavior and becoming more attuned to his instincts. He becomes a fierce and ruthless hunter, and his physical appearance changes to reflect his adaptation to the wild. By the end of the novel, Buck has fully embraced his wild nature and becomes a legendary figure among the other dogs in the region.
4. What is the significance of the title, The Call of the Wild?
The title of the novel refers to Buck's deep-seated desire to return to his natural state in the wild. Buck is drawn to the wilderness by a primal instinct that he cannot ignore. The call of the wild represents the pull of instinct and the power of the natural world. The title also represents the idea that Buck is returning to his true self and abandoning the constraints of human society.
5. How does London use symbolism in The Call of the Wild?
The novel is rich in symbolism, with several objects and animals representing deeper themes and ideas. For example, Buck's transformation is represented by his physical appearance, which becomes more wild and feral as he adapts to the natural world. The sled dogs that Buck encounters in his travels represent the different stages of his own transformation, from his domesticated nature to his feral, instinctual self. The gold that drives the humans in the novel represents the destructive power of greed and the way it can corrupt even the most noble-minded individuals.
6. How does London portray the relationship between humans and animals in the novel?
London portrays the relationship between humans and animals as one of domination and control. The humans in the novel view their dogs as tools to be used for their own benefit, rather than as living beings with their own needs and desires. Buck's master, Judge Miller, is one of the few humans in the novel who treats him with kindness and compassion. London suggests that the bond between humans and animals can be a powerful and positive force, but only when it is based on mutual respect and understanding.
7. What is the significance of the character John Thornton?
John Thornton is a gold prospector who befriends Buck and becomes one of the most important figures in his life. Thornton represents a more positive and respectful relationship between humans and animals. He sees Buck as a companion and a friend, rather than as a tool to be used for his own benefit. Thornton's death at the hands of the Yeehats represents the ultimate betrayal of this bond, and it drives Buck to become even more feral and wild.
8. How does London use imagery and language to convey the setting of the novel?
London's vivid and descriptive language creates a strong sense of place and time. He uses imagery to convey the intense cold and harshness of the Yukon environment, with its frozen rivers and snow-covered forests. His descriptions of the Northern Lights and the sound of the wolf howl add to the eerie and otherworldly atmosphere of the novel.
9. What is the significance of the Yeehats in the novel?
The Yeehats are a native tribe who play a pivotal role in the novel's climax. They represent the destructive power of human greed and violence, as they massacre Thornton and his companions in their pursuit of wealth. The Yeehats also symbolize the conflict between civilization and the natural world, as they seek to dominate and control the wilderness.
10. What is the overall message of The Call of the Wild?
The novel is a powerful commentary on the relationship between humans and animals, as well as the conflict between civilization and the natural world. It suggests that the bonds between humans and animals can be positive and transformative, but only when they are based on respect and understanding. London also emphasizes the power of instinct and the importance of embracing one's true nature, even if it means abandoning the comforts of civilization. The novel ultimately celebrates the beauty and power of the natural world, and the way that it can transform and empower those who embrace it.
The Call of the Wild is a rich and complex novel that offers insights into themes that are still relevant today. Jack London's vivid imagery, masterful storytelling, and powerful characterization have made it a beloved classic of American literature. Whether you are a student studying the novel for a test or a reader seeking a deeper understanding of the book, this article has provided valuable insights into the most commonly asked test questions, as well as a deeper analysis of the characters and themes.