'The Call of the Wild' Quotes

Jack London's Famous Novel...

Call of the Wild
Simon & Schuster

The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London (John Griffith London)—first serialized in the summer of 1903 to popular acclaim. The book is about Buck, a dog who eventually learns to survive in the wilds of Alaska.

Quotes From the Call of the Wild by Jack London

"...men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 1)

"He was beaten (he knew that), but he was not broken. He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned the lesson, and in all his afterlife he never forgot it. That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law... The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect, and while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 1)

"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." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 2)

"In this manner had fought forgotten ancestors. They quickened the old life within him, the old tricks which they had stamped into the heredity of the breed were his tricks... And when, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 2)

"When he moaned and sobbed, it was with the pain of living that was of old the pain of his wild fathers, and the fear and mystery of the cold and dark that was to them fear and mystery." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 3)

"He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 3)

"All that stirring of old instincts which at stated periods drives men out from the sounding cities to forest and plain to kill things by chemically propelled leaden bullets, the bloodlust, the joy to kill -- all this was Buck's, only it was infinitely more intimate. He was ranging at the head of the pack, running the wild thing down, the living meat, to kill with how own teeth and wash his muzzle to the eyes in warm blood." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 3)

"For the pride of trace and trail was his, and sick unto death, he could not bear that another dog should do his work." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 4)

"The wonderful patience of the trail which comes to men who toil hard and suffer sore, and remain sweet of speech and kindly, did not come to these two men and the woman. They had no inkling of such a patience. They were stiff and in pain, their muscles ached, their bones ached, their very hearts ached, and because of this they became sharp of speech." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 5)

"His muscles had wasted away to knotty strings, and the flesh pads had disappeared so that each rib and every bone in his frame were outlined cleanly through the loose hide that was wrinkled in folds of emptiness. It was heartbreaking, only Buck's heart was unbreakable. The man in the red sweater had proved that." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 5)

"He felt strangely numb. As though from a great distance, he was aware that he was being beaten. The last sensations of pain left him. He no longer felt anything, though very faintly he could hear the impact of the club upon his body. But it was no longer his body, it seemed so far away." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 5)

"Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 6)

"He was older than the days he had seen and the breaths he had drawn. He linked the past with the present, and the eternity behind him throbbed through him in a mighty rhythm to which he swayed as the tides and seasons swayed." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 6)

"Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing, barking softly or defiantly... Irresistible impulses seized him. he would be lying in camp, dozing lazily in the heat of the day, when suddenly his head would lift and his ears cock up, intent and listening, and he would spring on his feet and dash away, and on and on, for hours, though the forest aisles." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 7)

"But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 7)

"It filled him with a great unrest and strange desires. It caused him to feel a vague, sweet gladness, and he was aware of wild yearnings and stirrings for he knew not what." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 7)

"He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 7)

"He had killed man, the noblest game of all, and he had killed in the face of the law of club and fang." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 7)

"When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering Borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack." (Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. 7)

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Lombardi, Esther. "'The Call of the Wild' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/the-call-of-the-wild-quotes-739118. Lombardi, Esther. (2020, August 25). 'The Call of the Wild' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-call-of-the-wild-quotes-739118 Lombardi, Esther. "'The Call of the Wild' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-call-of-the-wild-quotes-739118 (accessed March 27, 2023).