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Course Hero, "The Call of the Wild Study Guide," January 12, 2017, accessed December 17, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Call-of-the-Wild/.

The Call of the Wild | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • 1894–97

    A dog named Buck lives on a wealthy man's California estate, where he is well taken care of.

    Chapter 1
  • Fall 1897

    A servant secretly sells Buck to a man who ships the dog to Seattle.

    Chapter 1
  • Days later

    The man in the red sweater teaches Buck the law of the club.

    Chapter 1
  • Days later

    François and Perrault buy Buck and travel with him and three other dogs to the Northland.

    Chapter 1
  • Days later

    On his first day in the North, Buck sees a dog pack kill Curly.

    Chapter 2
  • Several weeks later

    As Buck pulls a dogsled through the wild, he connects with his primitive instincts.

    Chapter 2
  • Weeks later

    Buck shows he is not afraid of Spitz, the leader of the dog team.

    Chapter 3
  • Weeks later

    During a fierce fight, Buck cripples Spitz, who is then killed by the other dogs.

    Chapter 3
  • Next day

    Buck assumes leadership of the dog team.

    Chapter 4
  • Months later

    Buck and his dog team are sold to three inexperienced gold seekers: Hal, Charles, and Mercedes.

    Chapter 5
  • Several weeks later

    The inept Hal, Charles, and Mercedes abuse the dogs as they travel toward Dawson.

    Chapter 5
  • Next day

    John Thornton sees Hal beating Buck and saves Buck.

    Chapter 5
  • Several weeks later

    As Thornton nurses Buck back to health, the two form a strong bond of love.

    Chapter 6
  • Later that year

    Buck risks his own life to save Thornton from drowning.

    Chapter 6
  • Months later

    Buck wins a bet for Thornton; as a result, Thornton and his two friends receive a large sum.

    Chapter 6
  • Several months later

    Thornton and his friends search for a lost mine, with Buck leading the sled team.

    Chapter 7
  • Several weeks later

    As Thornton pans for gold, Buck answers the call of the wild, becoming a fierce predator.

    Chapter 7
  • Next day

    Buck attacks the Yeehats who kill Thornton, mourns his master, and becomes a wolf pack leader.

    Chapter 7

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Because Buck can't read the newspaper, he doesn't know gold has been discovered in the Northland, making large dogs with... Read More
Chapter 2 In the frontier town of Dyea, Alaska, Buck learns more about "the law of club and fang" by witnessing Curly being attack... Read More
Chapter 3 As Buck learns about his new life pulling sleds, he focuses mainly on adjusting his behavior as needed. Because of this,... Read More
Chapter 4 After killing Spitz, Buck wants to take the position as the lead of the dog team. However, François has other ideas and ... Read More
Chapter 5 Buck and his dog team pull a sled guided by the Scotch man and his friend into Skaguay. The dogs and men are both dead t... Read More
Chapter 6 As John Thornton waits for his partners to arrive by raft from Dawson, he nurses Buck back to health. Thornton's dogs, S... Read More
Chapter 7 Thornton, Hans, and Pete use their winnings from the bet to finance an excursion in search of a lost mine in the far Nor... Read More
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