The Call of the Wild and White Fang
Jack London, 1903, 1906
In Call of the Wild, London considers the same issues as in Edgar Sawtelle— (above) the thin veneer of civilization that overlays an instinctive call of the wild. Buck hears the call, reverting back to his atavistic self and the life of his primal forbearers.
White Fang is the reverse: the wolfdog (he is 1/4 dog) willingly dons the mantle of civilization, putting aside his defensive savagery learned at the hands of humans. In fact, in this novella London considers the extent to which both animals and humans are formed by their experiences in the world. Cruelty begets cruelty; kindness, kindness.
These are interesting, compelling works and are particularly good when read in tandem.
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