The Call of the Wild Excerpt (Chapter 6: For the Love of a Man)

- By Jack London
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John Griffith London (born John Griffith Chaney;[1] January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916)[2][3][4][5] was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing.[citation needed] He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction.[6] London was part of the radical literary group "The Crowd" in San Francisco and a passionate advocate of unionization, workers' rights, socialism, and eugenics.[7][8] He wrote several works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, War of the Classes, and Before Adam.
When John Thornton froze his feet in the previous December, his partners had made him comfortable and left him to get well, going on themselves up the river to get out a raft of saw-logs for Dawson. He was still limping slightly at the time he rescued Buck, but with the continued warm weather even the slight limp left him. And here, lying by the river bank through the long spring days, watching the running water, listening lazily to the songs of birds and the hum of nature, Buck slowly won back his strength.
A rest comes very good after one has traveled three thousand miles, and it must be confessed that Buck waxed lazy as his wounds healed, his muscles swelled out, and the flesh came back to cover his bones. For that matter, they were all loafing,--Buck, John Thornton, and Skeet and Nig--waiting for the raft to come that was to carry them down to Dawson. Skeet was a little Irish setter who early made friends with Buck, who, in a dying condition, was unable to resent her first advances. She had the doctor trait which some dogs possess; and as a mother cat washes her kittens, so she washed and cleansed Buck's wounds. Regularly, each morning after he had finished his breakfast, she performed her self-appointed task, till he came to look for her ministrations as much as he did for Thornton's. Nig, equally friendly though less demonstrative, was a huge black dog, half-bloodhound and half-deerhound, with eyes that laughed and a boundless good nature.
To Buck's surprise these dogs manifested no jealousy toward him. They seemed to share the kindliness and largeness of John Thornton. As Buck grew stronger they enticed him into all sorts of ridiculous games, in which Thornton himself could not forbear to join; and in this fashion Buck romped through his convalescence and into a new existence. Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller's down in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, a sort of pompous guardianship; and with the Judge himself, a stately and dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.
This man had saved his life, which was something; but, further, he was the ideal master. Other men saw to the welfare of their dogs from a sense of duty and business expediency; he saw to the welfare of his as if they were his own children, because he could not help it. And he saw further. He never forgot a kindly greeting or a cheering word, and to sit down for a long talk with them--"gas" he called it--was as much his delight as theirs. He had a way of taking Buck's head roughly between his hands, and resting his own head upon Buck's, of shaking him back and forth, the while calling him ill names that to Buck were love names. Buck knew no greater joy than that rough embrace and the sound of murmured oaths, and at each jerk back and forth it seemed that his heart would be shaken out of his body, so great was its ecstasy

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Word Lists:

Convalescence : time spent recovering from an illness or medical treatment; recuperation

Demonstrative : (of a person) tending to show feelings, especially of affection, openly

Romp : (especially of a child or animal) play roughly and energetically

Expediency : the quality of being convenient and practical despite possibly being improper or immoral; convenience

Limp : walk with difficulty, typically because of a damaged or stiff leg or foot

Raft : a flat buoyant structure of timber or other materials fastened together, used as a boat or floating platform.

Pompous : affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important

Adoration : deep love and respect

Entice : attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage

Buck : the male of some horned animals, especially the fallow deer, roe deer, reindeer, and antelopes.

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Additional Information:

Rating: C

Words: 573

Unique Words : 291

Sentences : 23

Reading Time : 2:32

Noun : 164

Conjunction : 65

Adverb : 29

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 42

Pronoun : 63

Verb : 98

Preposition : 58

Letter Count : 2,481

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Neutral (Slightly Conversational)

Difficult Words : 141

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