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The Call of the Wild

Chapter 6

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For the Love of a Man

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When Resources Resources John Thornton froze his feet in the previous December, his partners had made him comfortable and left him to get well, going on themselves up the river to get out a raft of saw-logs for Dawson. He was still limping slightly at the time he rescued Buck, but with the continued warm weather even the slight limp left him. And here, lying by the river bank through the long spring days, watching the running water, listening lazily to the songs of birds and the hum of nature, Buck slowly won back his strength.Literary Device Literary Device

A rest comes very good after one has traveled three thousand miles, and it must be confessed that Buck waxed lazy as his wounds healed, his muscles swelled out, and the flesh came back to cover his bones. For that matter, they were all loafing,—Buck, John Thornton, and Skeet and Nig—waiting for the raft to come that was to carry them down to Dawson. Skeet was a little Irish setter who early made friends with Buck, who, in a dying condition, was unable to resent her first advances. She had the doctor trait which some dogs possess; and as a mother cat washes her kittens, so she washed and cleansed Buck's wounds. Regularly, each morning after he had finished his breakfast, she performed her self-appointed task, till he came to look for her ministrations as much as he did for Thornton's. Nig, equally friendly though less demonstrative, was a huge black dog, half-bloodhound and half-deerhound, with eyes that laughed and a boundless good nature. Literary Device

To Buck's surprise these dogs manifested no jealousy toward him. Stop and Think! They seemed to share the kindliness and largeness of John Thornton. As Buck grew stronger they enticed him into all sorts of ridiculous games, in which Thornton himself could not forbear to join; and in this fashion Buck romped through his convalescence and into a new existence. Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller's down in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, a sort of pompous guardianship; and with the Judge himself, a stately and dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.

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Interpret the characterization, or clues about Buck as a character in the story. Choose the statement that best describes how Buck has changed:


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MontyHaliPedro


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Now you can be creative and mix up your own characterization. What kind of feeling would you like Buck to experience?




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Choose from the pull-downs to create your new characterization. Remember your goal as you choose! Click "Done" when you are ready.


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MontyHaliPedro


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Use the Text Help toolbar located above to highlight and collect the words and phrases that provide the characterization in this passage. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your response.


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MontyHali

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Monty's Thoughts

Although Buck was happy at Judge Miller's place, I realized that he had never loved anyone before. Buck is experiencing this feeling for the first time.

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Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand characterization, I notice the verbs, the adjectives, and the thoughts or statements of the character.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions when trying to understand characterization:

What does the character look like?

How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?

What does the character seem to care about?

What adjectives does the author use to describe the character's personality?

What does the character think or say?

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Monty's Thoughts

I chose to have Buck experience sadness for the first time. I was interested to see that changing just a few words really made Buck seem like a completely different kind of character.

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Hali's Thoughts

When I am choosing words and phrases to make a new kind of character, I use adjectives to describe appearance, or describe actions or thoughts that signal the reader about what your character is like.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions when trying to understand characterization:

What does the character look like?

How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?

What does the character seem to care about?

What adjectives does the author use to describe the character's personality?

What does the character think or say?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

Although Buck was happy at Judge Miller's place, I realized that he had never loved anyone before. Buck is experiencing this feeling for the first time.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand characterization, I notice the verbs, the adjectives, and the thoughts or statements of the character.