The Call of the Wild - Between instincts and morality

Allan Jeppsson

Studenteropgave: Basisprojekt


This project attempts to uncover the contradictions between two concepts of struggle which occur in Jack London’s The Call of the Wild (1903). The first is the individual’s struggle to live out its full and natural potential, and the second is the individual’s attempt to fit into various types of community. In The Call of the Wild, Buck the dog experiences the conflict of these contradicting struggles first-hand when it is abducted from a civilized life and is forced to live an uncivilized life under the command of various masters. Every new master and type of community where he has to fit in, calls for a new set of skills he has to master. At the same time, his natural instincts are slowly coming back to him, leading to conflicts between instincts and social conventions.
By looking into the historical events of the industrialization and urbanization of the 19th century U.S., the great changes of the time are used as a perspective to the thematical context of Buck’s story.
The project concludes that Buck’s struggle to please both his individualism, his true nature, and his need for community, also happens to become his greatest strength, since it makes him able to adapt to and master all types of challenges he faces. This resembles the increasing complexity of the 19th century where the natural instincts could easily be forgotten and oppressed by social conventions.

UddannelserEngelsk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato22 maj 2017
Antal sider202
VejledereKimberly Renée Chopin