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Jack London’s Representation of His Own Life Experience in The Call of The Wild

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Only those people who are endowed with strength and aggression can defeat their opponents and gain the right to survival and wealth. Jack London is the father of American proletarian literature. Jack London not only expanded the theme of the novel, portrayed the strange relationship between humans and animals, but also wrote novels reflecting the contradictions of American society in the early 20th century, which profoundly revealed the social evils of capitalists. In the novel, ​The Call of the Wild​, Bulk’s experience in Alaska and the responsibility and honor for characteristics of Bulk are the work a good representation of Jack London.

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Jack London’s own life experience and the hatred of the cruel society helped to shape his work – ​The Call of the Wild​. From his early time to his old, Jack London has been to many places and has a lot of complex life experience, his own experience helps him to build his unique style of his story. In the analysis, Labor writes, “Sailor, hobo, Klondike argonaut, social crusalor, war correspondent, scientific farmer, self-made millionaire, global traveler, and adventurer…”. Jack London traveled around the world and also has been to Alaska. Such rich and colorful life experiences are not available to other writers. And it is these experiences that enable him to write novels that are incredibly true and deeply rooted in people’s hearts. Based on his real experience, Jack London puts the magnificent land into words, making ​The Call of the Wild full​ of charm. In addition, Jack London’s thoughts of this cruel society and the rule of the society helped shape his work. The author Zeng writes, “Naturalists believe that mankind is the product of environment, the power of , it is not the strongest of the species that can survive, but the one most responsive to changes.” Jack London had been wandering around the world, so he had seen the hardship and misery of different classes especially those at the bottom of society. With these real experiences, he was able to vividly describe the great gap between the hero’s fall from the top to the bottom in his novels. At the same time, taking himself as a portrayal, he depicted the change of the protagonist, and worked hard step by step until he succeeded. At the same time, because of his real experience, he hated evil. Readers can clearly feel the sense of justice in his articles. Jack London’s own life experience and his view of the reality of the society helped to form his unique style.

Secondly, the awe of nature and the point of view helped Jack London to write his work vividly. The setting of The Call of the Wild helps to make this work fascinating and immersive. In Mann’s work, he writes, “They went across divides in summer blizzards, shivered under the midnight sun on naked mountains between the timber… and flowers as ripe and fair as any the Southland could boast.” The setting of ​The Call of the Wild​ happens in Alaska. Alaska’s harsh and fascinating natural environment easily inspires deep urban people with a strong sense of awe of nature, and then the primitive impulse to fight against it. Moreover, the dog’s point of view and metaphor helped shape Jake London’s work. In Ashley’s work, she writes, “John Tornton, the strong, silent, noble type to whom Bulk becomes attached in the Yukon. The animals, however, are sufficiently humanized, and if they, too, are than with their lack of depth.” ​The Call of the Wild ​is a metaphor for human sociality with dogs, and for human wildness means wolves. Meanwhile, the South, which is Bulk’s home, is the symbol of warm home, and Alaska is a real society. This work is a metaphor for the degeneration and future of human beings. As readers, people can better substitute themselves into the characters in this metaphor and perspective, so as to have a spiritual resonance with the hero’s story. In fact, these stories and metaphors also represent the story of Jack London himself. In this way he buried his experience in the story. He is an author who likes to add his own emotions and real experiences to the story. That is why the settings and metaphor helped to make London’s work unique and attractive.

Additionally, in the book, ​The Call of the Wild​, Bulk’s changes from the poor dog to the leader of the group tell us the inevitable triumph of the strongest individuals. From the warm south to Alaska, Bulk’s experience makes him become proud, cunning and stronger. London writes, “When he returned to his kill and found a dozen wolverines quarreling over the spoil, he scattered them like chaff.” This reflects that people have to keep working and fighting to win the stocks. It also shows the inevitable triumph of the stronger individual. Zeng also writes that, “Bulk becomes stronger and stronger by constantly changing himself, he finally adapts himself to the surrounding and survives.” When the protagonist enters an unfamiliar environment at first, he is at a loss. Any survival skills or fighting skills he didn’t know. So he suffered a lot. Later, he continuously improved his survival skills through his own efforts. Eventually he became the leader of the team and went after the life he wanted. As in London’s own experience, he went from being a poor tramp to a great writer. He brings that spirit into his book, inspiring readers.

Most people in American society lived in poverty at that time. And London’s work is the medicine that can inspire these poor people. That’s one reason he’s so successful. Secondly, Bulk keeps trying to adopt the harsh environment in the North and poor life conditions to make him stronger. In ​The Call of the Wild​, London writes, “In less than five month, they had traveled twenty-five hundred miles but five days’ rest.” Bulk’s experience shows that people have to try to adapt to a different environment and know the hard of life so that they can succeed. Zeng writes, “Bulk struggles in the bottom class and fights against odds for basic rights to survival. He is in an extremely difficult environment full of challenges, and has to overcome them.” Through all of these, Bulk’s changes from a pet dog to the leader of a group show London’s idea the winner is always the strongest one.

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Last but not the least, Jack London uses irony and personification to show the fact of human society. Firstly, Jack London uses irony to show the gap between the social class. In her analysis, Ashley writes that, “Bulk is stolen from his master and his respectable home in the South…he is forced to fight.” Bulk life from the South to the wild shows people’s maladaptation and hard times when they go to another social class. This helplessness from the top to the bottom also reflects the great difference in people’s lives. In this way, the author shows the huge gap between the rich and the poor in the current society. This also reflects the author’s hatred and ridicule of the society at that time. Moreover, Jack London uses personification to make a dog’s life represent human society. In The Call of the Wild, London writes, “Once more Francois called and once more Bulk laughed and kept away.” In the growing experience of Bulk, he kept fighting with the enemy to hone his ability. At the same time, he also experienced a narrow escape from death, daily struggle to the edge of death. All these experiences also represent the struggle in human society, whether different people or different classes. London’s work can point sharply to the contradictions between people. This point can also be supported by Ashley’ work, “In the novel, Bulk is an anthropomorphic dog, not an ordinary dog in its common sense, but a dog with life courage, power and pride.” To summarize, Jack London uses irony and personification in ​The Call of the Wild​ to show the facts of human society. To put it in a nutshell, Jack London represents his life experience, ideas and his characteristics well in ​The Call of the Wild​. All of these factors made the unique Jack London – a great writer and a pioneer of ideas.

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Jack London’s Representation Of His Own Life Experience In The Call Of The Wild. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from
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