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The Call of the Wild

Chapter 2

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The Law of Club and Fang

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Resources Resources Buck's first day on the Yea beach was like a nightmare. Literary DeviceEvery hour was filled with shock and surprise. He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial. No lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety. All was confusion and action, and every moment life and limb were in peril. There was imperative need to be constantly alert; for these dogs and men were not town dogs and men. They were savages, all of them, who knew no law but the law of club and fang. Stop and Think!

He had never seen dogs fight as these wolfish creatures fought, and his first experience taught him an unforgettable lesson. it is true, it was a vicarious experience, else he would not have lived to profit by it. Curly was the victim. They were camped near the log store, where she, in her friendly way, made advances to a husky dog the size of a full-grown wolf, though not half so large as she. There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly's face was ripped open from eye to jaw. Literary Device

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It was the wolf manner of fighting, to strike and leap away; but there was more to it than this. Thirty or forty huskies ran to the spot and surrounded the combatants in an intent and silent circle. Literary DeviceBuck did not comprehend that silent intentness, nor the eager way with which they were licking their chops. Curly rushed her antagonist, who struck again and leaped aside. He met her next rush with his chest, in a peculiar fashion that tumbled her off her feet. She never regained them. This was what the onlooking huskies had waited for. They closed in upon her, snarling and yelping, and she was buried, screaming with agony, beneath the bristling mass of bodies.

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Interpret the setting—the time, place, and tone of the story. Choose the statement that best describes this setting.


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


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Monty's Thoughts

When I read about Dyea beach I could visualize a wild and unsafe place. Is Buck's life in danger?

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Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand setting, I look at the illustrations and imagine myself right there in the story. I also look for words describing the place, time, and weather.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions:

Where is it?

When is it?

What is the weather like?

What are the social conditions?

What is the landscape or environment like?

What special details make the setting vivid?

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Monty's Thoughts

I chose to change the setting to a newly discovered land. I chose words and phrases that described excitement and adventure. When I read my paragraph aloud, I was surprised to see how much it changed the mood of the story.

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Hali's Thoughts

When you are choosing words and phrases to make a new setting, think about the kind of place you are describing and choose words that help your reader to visualize what it is like.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions:

Where is it?

When is it?

What is the weather like?

What are the social conditions?

What is the landscape or environment like?

What special details make the setting vivid?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I read about Yea beach I could visualize a wild and unsafe place. Is Buck's life in danger?

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand setting, I look at the illustrations and imagine myself right there in the story. I also look for words describing the place, time, and weather.