The Call of the Wild: Chapter Two

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12422

You are probably familiar with talking pigs, spiders that can spell, a mouse that wears gloves and shorts, and lion kings. Discover how animals become human (sort of), and learn a large Greek word!


Literary Studies

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Judging by the looks on their faces (and their tongues!), how do you think the dogs pictured above feel?

In the first Related Lesson (right-hand sidebar) of this series, you read how Buck was kidnapped from his life in Southern California and shipped to Alaska to serve as a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98.

You also learned about the conditions prospectors faced in their search for gold.

  • How do you think these conditions affected the dogs that the prospectors used?

In Chapter Two, Buck will get his first taste of life as a sled dog. Although London uses humans as peripheral characters — Manuel steals Buck to sell him to fund his gambling habits and Perrault purchases him after he has been trained by the dog breaker — dogs are the primary characters in the text. London uses a literary technique known as anthropomorphism to give the dogs human traits. To learn more about this technique, watch the following video. As you watch, answer the following questions in the notebook or journal you are keeping for this series. You can pause the video as needed to answer the questions and you can disregard the request to type answers in the comment section for the first example.

  • From what language does the term "anthropomorphism" come?
  • What is the translated meaning of the term?
  • How does anthropomorphism differ from personification?

Watch Anthropomorphism: Definition & Examples, from English Literature Hub, and record your responses in your notebook or journal:

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  • What examples of anthropomorphism, either in the novel or in any other book or film, can you think of after seeing the examples in the video?

Try to think of at least one example for each!

Now that you are more familiar with the technique of anthropomorphism, you are ready to read the next chapter of The Call of the Wild. You can use the digital copy of The Call of the Wild, provided by Project Gutenberg, or you can use a print copy if you used it for the first lesson. As you read Chapter Two, take notes on the different dogs introduced in this section who make up Buck's sled dog team.

When you have finished reading and taking notes, move on to the Got It? section to explore the text in more detail.

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