Nature V. Knowledge
Chapter 5 took a toll on me as a dog lover. All I wanted to do was yell at Hal, Mercedes, and Charles and tell them that theres only so much those poor dogs could take. What I grabbed from this chapter is that even though nature is hard on them, humanity can be worse. Buck was fortunate to have prior owners who weren’t cruel and knew what they were doing. These “newcomers” have very little clue as to what they’re doing and they see the dogs as tools rather than partners. In the wild, their lack of knowledge and incompetence proved to be deadly and it cost the lives of many of the other dogs too.
The theme that really shone through in these chapters was nature versus knowledge. You can’t out smart nature. In order to survive it you must understand it and accept it. Because Hal, Mercedes, and Charles weren’t willing to do either nature beat them.