The Call of the Wild

novel by Jack London

The Call of the Wild is a story about a dog. The book was written by Jack London. It was first published in 1903 as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post. It was published in book form by Macmillan the same year. The story is London's most popular work and is considered one of his greatest works.[1]

First edition cover

The story is about a pet dog named Buck. The dog is stolen from his California home. He is sold as a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush. Men, other animals, and nature itself treats Buck with cruelty. He survives by adapting to the ways of his wolf ancestors. At the end of the book, he breaks from all human contact and returns to the wild.

Today, the book is often viewed as a children's story because it is about a dog. However, the book's themes of survival of the fittest, fate versus free will, and civilization versus nature have interest for all ages.[2] The story has been made into movies and television shows. Most have failed to focus on Buck's story. Instead, the focus is on the human characters.

  1. London 1998, p. xi.
  2. Zhang 2010, p. 1.


  • London, Jack (1998). The Call of the Wild, White Fang & To Build a Fire. with an introduction by E.L. Doctorow. Modern Library. ISBN 978-0-375-75251-3.
  • Zhang, Xiaofen (May 2010). "Naturalism Presented in The Call of the Wild". Journal of Language Teaching and Research. 1 (3). doi:10.4304/jltr.1.3.278-281. ISSN 1798-4769.