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University of California, Berkeley

"Call of the Wild" by London: BerkeleyX Book Club

University of California, Berkeley via edX

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The Call of the Wild is a 1903 novel written by Jack London. The story is set in the Yukon, the far northern territory of Canada/Alaska, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush. During this period, good sled dogs were in high demand. The novel's main character is a dog named Buck, who lives on a California ranch.

London himself lived nearly a year in the Yukon, collecting material for the novel. Like many older popular novels, The Call of the Wild was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903. A month later, it was released as a  book. The novel’s great popularity and success made London famous. The appeal of this story comes from its simplicity as a tale of survival. As early as 1908, the story was adapted to film. Since then, there have been other adaptations.

Participants in this course will read, discuss, and write about the text and its influence. As in most book clubs, the focus will be on lively discussion. Course materials will include background information for understanding the text, as well as vocabulary and language support. Assessment will include quizzes and short writing assignments.

Taught by

Maggie Sokolik


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  • Zoe Aukim

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