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PLOT – (Wikipedia)
The story opens with Buck, a powerful 140-pound St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix, living happily in California’s Santa Clara Valley as the pampered pet of rich Judge Miller and his family. However, assistant gardener Manuel, in desperate need of money to finance his Chinese lottery addiction, steals Buck and sells him for a large, lucrative amount of cash. Buck is shipped to Seattle. Put in a crate, he is starved and ill-treated. Buck is then sold to a pair of French-Canadian dispatchers from the Canadian government, François and Perrault, who take him with them to Alaska. There, they train him as a sled dog, and drive him through the Klondike region of Canada.
When François and Perrault complete the round-trip of the Yukon Trail in record time—returning to Skagway with their dispatches—and are given new orders from the Canadian government, their team is then sold to a “Scotch half-breed” man, who is also working the mail service.
Buck’s next owners are a trio of stampeders from the American Southland (present-day contiguous United States)—a spoiled woman called Mercedes, her sheepish husband Charles, and her arrogant brother Hal—who are inexperienced at surviving in the Northern wilderness. They struggle to control the sled and ignore helpful advice from others—in particular, the warnings that the spring melt poses dangers. Most dogs on the team die from either weakness, neglect, or sickness—leaving only five dogs when they pull into White River.
There, they meet John Thornton, an experienced outdoorsman, who notices the dogs have been poorly treated and are in a weakened condition. He warns the trio against crossing the river, but they ignore his advice and order Buck to move on. Exhausted, starving, and sensing the danger ahead, Buck refuses and continues to lie unmoving in the snow. The trio leaves and tries to cross the river with the four dogs remaining, but as Thornton warned, the ice breaks, and the dogs and humans fall into the river and drown.
Buck comes to love and grow devoted to Thornton as he nurses him back to health. He saves Thornton when the man falls into a river. A king of the Skookum Benches offers a large sum to buy Buck, but Thornton has grown fond of him and declines.
Using his winnings, Thornton retires his debts but elects to continue searching for gold. Once at a suitable gold find, the dogs have nothing to do. Buck hears the call of the wild, explores the wilderness, and socializes with a Northwestern wolf from a local pack. However, Buck decides not to join the wolves and elects to return to Thornton. He repeatedly goes back and forth between Thornton and the wild. When returning to the campsite he finds Thorton, Hans and Pete murdered. t Enraged, Buck kills several of the natives to avenge Thornton, and he then realizes that he has no ties to humans and the law of club and fang, and goes to find his wild brother. Buck then follows the wolf and its pack into the forest and answers the call of the wild.
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