Understanding The Call of the Wild: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents [NOOK Book]

Overview

London's adventure tale The Call of the Wild explores the complex relationships between man and nature, and animals' struggle with their own nature in man's world. In this interdisciplinary study, a rich collection of primary documents point out the many issues that make this story as poignant and pertinent today as when it was written nearly a century ago. Compiled here for the first time is documentation from sources as varied as century-old newspaper accounts, legislative materials, advertisements, poetry, ...

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Understanding The Call of the Wild: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Overview

London's adventure tale The Call of the Wild explores the complex relationships between man and nature, and animals' struggle with their own nature in man's world. In this interdisciplinary study, a rich collection of primary documents point out the many issues that make this story as poignant and pertinent today as when it was written nearly a century ago. Compiled here for the first time is documentation from sources as varied as century-old newspaper accounts, legislative materials, advertisements, poetry, journals, and other startling firsthand accounts. The story's historical setting, the Yukon Gold Rush, is brought vividly into focus for readers, with firsthand accounts of the unimaginable hardships faced by the prospectors in the Klondike and Alaskan Gold Fields. Central to their story and to their very survival were the dogs that served man's ambitions. Tribute to the sled dog is given in an historical 1879 piece The Value of Dogs from the Sketches of Life in the Hudson Bay Territory. This casebook also investigates endangered species legislation and the history of animal welfare concerns, focusing on the treatment of dogs in particular, surveying over a century of public sentiment.

Students are introduced to The Call of the Wild with an insightful literary analysis exploring a mythological interpretation and a discussion of its main thematic premise, the fundamental struggle for freedom. Each subsequent chapter of this casebook focuses on an important topic, such as animal welfare, contextualizing these issues with primary documents. Students will find these materials and the related essays invaluable in understanding not only The Call of the Wild but also the historical and pertinent social issues it addresses. Each topic section of this casebook offers ideas for thought-provoking class discussions, debates, and further research. Suggestions for further reading on these topics are also given.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

CLAUDIA DURST JOHNSON is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama, where she served as chair of the English Department for 12 years. She is series editor of the Greenwood Press "Literature in Context" series, for which she has authored numerous works including Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird (1994), Understanding The Scarlet Letter (1995), Understanding Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1996), Understanding The Crucible (1998) and most recently Understanding The Grapes of Wrath (1999).

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Table of Contents

Literary Analysis: Adventure and Myth

The Alaskan Panhandle and the Yukon Territory

The Yukon Gold Rush

The Sled Dog

The Issue of Cruelty

The Wolf: Symbol, Myth, and Issue

Index

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