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Nature and Nurture "Call of the wild", written by Jack London, is one of his famous short novels that is known for all. It is a story about a dog, Buck. Buck is a domestic dog living in the sun-kissed Santa Clara valley. He is living a good life and taken care of by his master.
But life is not always a picnic. When it is the end of 19 th century, there comes the gold rush. Big dogs are tremendously wanted for exploring in the North. For Buck, his cozy and happy life comes to an end as he is secretly sold to Alaska by one of gardeners without anybody's notice. There, he undergoes a series of the most tough things he has ever experienced.
In order to survive, Buck forces himself to learn quickly and tries to adapt with the environment as fast as he could. Therefore, the original wild dormant in his body is called out little by little. At last, when his beloved master is killed by Indians, Buck's wildness explodes. He kills all the Indians for revenge and becomes the leader of a wolf pack. He goes totally wild. In fact, Buck's wildness is born naturally, which means, his ancestors and parents give him the nature to be wild.
His father is a huge St. Bernard, and his mother is a Scotch shepherd. He always has had his wildness in his body. Only because at the beginning he is kept and loved by Judge, his first master, Buck's behavior appears to be tame and loyal. He can go hunting with Judge's son; escort Judge's daughters; carry Judge's grandson on his back and lie at Judge's feet. Buck leads such a comfortable life that he himself cannot realize his natural character -- -wild.
When he arrives the northern continent, he suffers from a wretched situation. He has to learn from the beginning because he knows nothing. But everything seems so difficult to him so he has to adjust his adaptation all the time. Though he is tortured in this new world, his wildness begins to emerge. As time passes by, he can hear the call of the wild when he is alone. Later the calling becomes stronger and stronger.
In the end, he discovers his wildness that exists in his body since a long time ago. However, if we think conversely that Buck was not sent to the North, would Buck's natural temperament appear? Would he ever become wild in Judge's place? Nature is someone's character or qualities that are inborn. Buck's nature is wild.
But it doesn't mean he has to be what nature will be. This is because his nurture makes him not be. Instead of being born wildly, he has a good master Judge; Instead of living wildly, he is kept in a large house; Instead of hunting his own food, he is fed by humans. All these objective conditions prevent him from being wild.
Only when the nurture changes, does Buck's nature start coming out. For the first time he sees a woman being attacked by dogs, Buck is shocked. Thirty to forty huskies are snarling and yelping. The victim is buried with agony.
Though the men scatter the dogs finally, she lies there limp and lifeless in the bloody, trampled snow, almost literally torn to pieces. Then Jack London writes: "the scene always came back to Buck to trouble him in his sleep. " (In chapter 2) That is because although wildness is Buck's nature, his mind cannot accept it as he's never seen such things before. He is even kind of frightened. In his mind, dogs should love and respect humans. But later in the story, we will see Buck changes gradually. Since the nurture around Buck has changed, Buck's nature is dug out.
Nurture is the surrounding circumstance. It can affect a person greatly. For Buck, his nurture changes not only conversely, but also constantly. In order to adapt to it, his wild nature appears more and more obvious. Buck learns the law of club when his masters in Alaska hit him cruelly with clubs.
So he enhances his body to bear the hitting. As the weather is quite opposite from the place he lived before, he learns to dig a hole in the snow and sleeps in the chill windy night. Also he cannot relax any more as before. He has to pull the massive sled and start his journey across the cold, deserted continent from that time on.
Buck is a smart dog, he learns fast. Not long after, he can eat anything; he can hear the faintest sound in his sleep; he can scent the wind and forecast a night in advance and his muscles become hard as iron. Buck develops so rapidly that he becomes the most resilient dog in the team. Meanwhile his nature is aroused step by step. Spitz used to be the leader of the dog team. It is inevitable that the clash for the leadership between Spitz and Buck will arise.
Here Jack London writes: "Buck wanted it. He wanted it because it was his nature. " (In chapter 3) Buck used to be respected in Santa Clara valley. He cannot stand being a normal member of the team. He always wants to keep his dignity. So he fights with Spitz. Fang clashes fang, and lips are cut and bleeding.
They are rolling, leaping, yelping, clipping. It is a violent combat. Jack London indicated: "he fought by instinct. " Now Buck was not scared by the bloody battle. He can fight as well as other dogs.
It is his instinct that leads him to do so. It's not easy for the nurture to call out the nature of Buck. Although the nurture changes, Buck's wild is forced out, we can see from the story that Buck is confused. One half wants him to go to wild, the other half wants him to stay. Then there are conflicts between nature and nurture because they interact each other.
When Buck is with his last master John Thornton in the east of Alaska, his inherent wild is discovered completely. He hunts animals, he wanders in the forest for days, he goes on a walk with a wolf and snarls like a wolf. He is becoming wilder and wilder. The call of the wild is much more stronger than ever before.
Jack London shows us with Buck's experience: "Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing, barking softly or defiantly, as the mood might dictate. " All these things make him feel he belong to the wild and like back to wild. But he still has his love master, John. He will always go back for the love of John. Now the nature and nurture are incompatible as both of them can affect a person or an animal very strongly. Buck's feeling is mixed.
On one hand, he feels strongly that he belongs to the wild and he wants to go back. On the other hand, he loves his master and he wants to stay with him. I might say if that didn't happen to John, if Buck was always kept by John, he might never have become a real wild dog no matter how strong the call of the wild is. That day Buck decides to hunt a huge bull as his wildness expands.
After four days of battle, Buck succeeds. But when he goes back to the camp as usual, he finds that all the people are killed by Yeehat Indians including his John. At that very moment, Buck is exasperated and his wildness explodes. He dashes to the Yeehats and bites all of them to death.
Sad, confused, empty, Buck also feels a little bit excited. For this is the first time he kills humans. He knows this time he is completely wild. Maybe Buck's destiny is to become wild. Because once he is sent to Alaska, it is irrevocable. In retrospect, the outgrowth of Buck's wildness is slowly but inevitable.
Nature and nurture exert a tremendous influence on the life of Buck. Maybe it is a good thing for Buck to become the leader of the wolves, because he belongs to the wild essentially.
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Research essay sample on Nature And Nurture Call Of The Wild