Review of Jack London’s “Call of the Wild and White Fang” and why I think it should be classified as a dog training guide


The Call of the Wild/White FangThe Call of the Wild/White Fang by Jack London
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classic and a great read!!! I read it long time ago as a child and in Russian. Reading it this time, as an adult, makes these stories more meaningful and thought provoking.
It saddens me that these days kids/teens read abridged versions of this classic.

These are two stories of apposing journeys.
As Buck (a dog) reverts to his wild nature and answers the Call of The Will, so does White Fang (3/4 wolf) finds the companionship of humans irresistible.

An interesting part of the narrative, for me, was London’s mastery of expressing the world view of a dog/wolf. It is especially well developed in White Fang. White Fang does not ponder on life. There is pleasure and pain. There is master and follower. There are those who kill and those who are killed.

I believe White Fang should be read by all dog owners as a guide to dog psyche. Humans love to impose their emotions, feeling, and logic upon dogs. Such assumption, usually, lead to misunderstandings and trouble. White Fang’s understanding of the world is simple, straight forward and honest. There are no complex feeling or intricate deliberations. He understands kindness and law. Transgression means punishment and obedience leads to pleasure and comfort. These are the basic tenets of dogs life ad it would do well for dog owners to understand it.

I realize that this review became more of a critique on dog ownership and training, but these are the thought that were brought up for me by reading these novels.

To return to an actual book review :)… Jack London submerges the reader into the harshness and simplicity of the North, especially as it was experienced by man and animal during his time. The language and the story line are beautiful in it’s sophistication and simplicity.
The narrative is thought provoking. London calls his audience to evaluate humanity, nature and society from the prospective of a dog. He shows the humanity in an animal and the savagery within humans.

As expected, these classic novels are a worthy read and are a must addition to anyone’s reading list.

View all my reviews

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