The Champ

The Champ
The Alaskan environment is one of the deadliest and hardest environments to survive in the entire world and many have fallen victim to its harshness. Buck was the beloved St. Bernard that belonged to Judge Miller in the hills of the Santa Clara Valley in California , and his mother was a great German shepherd. Judge Miller owns a huge mansion complex with other dogs, horses, stables, vineyards. Buck loves this life, carrying the Judge?s grandchildren on his back and serving as the Judge?s faithful companion, as his father had been before him. However, one summer day in 1897, the Judge?s gardener sells him for a low price, and from there the brave dog begins a long journey ending in Dyea , Alaska . Buck is sold away to a Canadian pair named Perrault and Francois in need of sled dogs. Arriving on the mainland, Buck encounters many obstacles in this cold, icy place quite unlike where he grew up. Among these obstacles is the cruelty of many humans, other vicious dogs, and the cold weather itself. With these two Canadians, Buck creates a relationship of respect, pulling them from the Yukon Territory where the Klondike Gold Rush is raging, to Alaska , since Perrault is a special messenger for the Canadian government. The Alaskan environment was even harder to survive in the late 1890s when the novel Call of the Wild by Jack London, places Buck, a once domesticated dog into the wilderness and has him journey through it to survive.Throughout the novel, Buck proves that he is fit and can survive the law of the club, the law of the fang, and the laws of nature. The law of the club is mans empowerment over Buck and his inability to overpower them until the end of the novel. ?He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken. He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned the lesson, and in all his afterlife he never forgot it. That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law?The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect; and while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.? Chapter 1, pg. 13. The law of the fang is a reference to Bucks needed adaptation to the other sled dogs and change from his pampered living to a sled dog. Finally is the law of nature which Buck learns the entire novel as soon as he becomes a sled dog until the end of the novel. He becomes a good sled dog, working as part of the team with all the other undomesticated dogs. He also learns how to protect himself from the miserable cold, burrowing under the snow, and how to find food, stealing if necessary from the other dogs to keep strong. He also learns he must always be alert, for there are dangers everywhere in the environment.
Buck has different owners and each one treats him differently then the last and he has to adapt to each new owner on his journey. With the new owners Buck is at the head of the team, Francois and Perrault?s sled makes record time. Soon, the men soon turn the team over to a mail carrier who forces the dogs to carry much heavier loads. In the midst of this particularly difficult trip, one of the dogs becomes ill, and eventually the driver has to shoot him. At the end of that journey, the dogs are exhausted, and the mail carrier sells them to a group of American gold hunters which are Hal, Charles, and Mercedes.

Buck?s new masters are inexperienced and do not belong in the wilderness and make the journey difficult for Buck. They overload the sled, beat the dogs, and plan poorly. Halfway through their journey, they begin to run out of food. While the humans argue, the dogs begin to starve, and the weaker animals soon die. Of an original team of fourteen, only five are still alive when they limp into John Thornton?s camp, still some distance from their destination. Thornton warns them that the ice over which they are traveling is melting and that they may fall through it. Hal dismisses these warnings and tries to get going immediately. The other dogs begin to move, but Buck refuses. When Hal begins to beat him, Thornton intervenes, knocking a knife from Hal?s hand and cutting Buck loose. Hal curses Thornton and starts the sled again, but before they have gone a quarter of a mile, the ice breaks open, swallowing both the humans and the dogs. Thornton becomes Buck?s master, and Buck?s devotion to his new owner is complete. He saves Thornton from drowning in a river, attacks a man who tries to start a fight with Thornton in a bar, and, most remarkably, wins a $1,600 wager for his new master by pulling a sled carrying a thousand-pound load. Buck?s love for Thornton is mixed with a growing attraction to the wild, and he feels as if he is being called away from civilization and into the wilderness. This feeling grows stronger when he goes with Thornton and his friends in search of a lost mine hidden deep in the Canadian forest. While the men search for gold, Buck ranges faraway from the group, and befriends some wolves and hunting bears and moose. He always returns to Thornton in the end, until, one day, he comes back to camp to find that Yeehat Indians have attacked and killed his master. Buck attacks the Indians, killing several and scattering the rest, and then heads off into the wild, where he becomes the leader of a pack of wolves. He becomes a true wild dog and is called a ?Ghost Dogâ??. He fathers countless cubs and inspiring fear in the Yeehats Indiansâ??but every year he returns to the place where Thornton died and also the last place his journey by man brought him, to mourn his master before returning to his life in the wild. In conclusion, the Alaskan environment was even harder to survive in the late 1890s when the novel Call of the Wild by Jack London, places Buck, a once domesticated dog into the wilderness and has him journey through it to survive. Buck survived one of the most difficult journeys ever faces by an animal and became in touch with his instinct to survive the journey and the wilderness.

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