The Call of the Wild by Jack London is an enchanting story of a dog's struggles through terrible times and its loyalty to its owner. Buck is the mixed breed dog that possesses human characteristics as well as animal. Though he is often put in situations where he isn't in control, he manages to abandon his human qualities and respond to the "call of the wild".
The main characters in this novel are Buck, the part Scotch terrier and St. Bernard, the sled dogs, who all teach Buck valuable lessons, and Spitz, the lead dog of the team and rival of Buck. Manuel, Buck's abductor, Red Sweater, the man who enforces the law of the club, Franzois, the original driver of the sled team, Perrault, the superior to Franzois, Hal the ignorant owner of Buck, and John Thorton, Buck's rescuer are other important characters. The setting of this novel takes place in Santa Clara, California, the Yukon Territory and Alaska. The time setting is around the late 1800's when the Gold Rush was taking place.
On the peaceful acres of Santa Clara, Buck lives happily and freely with Judge Miller. Buck is quite domesticated and is carefree. However, Manuel, the gardener of Judge Miller, kidnaps Buck to feed his gambling habit. Buck thinks that he is being taken on a stroll. Manuel takes Buck and places in a contraband market because dogs are in high demand due to the Gold Rush. Buck is sent to a saloonkeeper to be sold as a sled dog. These men treat Buck as an object and neglect the concept of him being an individual dog. Buck is then placed on a train and sent to the Northland. While going through all of these travels, Buck is in a cage and becomes agitated due to his enclosure. In rage, he bites the saloonkeeper's hand. .
The saloonkeeper sends Buck to a man who prepares dogs for their journeys. He is referred to as Red Sweater. Red Sweater beats Buck with a club to tame him into obeying him. Buck learns quickly after several strikes.