The Call of the Wild by Jack London



Useful terminology for enhancing your active vocabulary and reading comprehension:

Ho = stop

Mush = move on

Gee = swing to the right

Haw – swing to the left

Dominant primordial beast:
the most powerful or influential animal or creature that existed in the earliest or original stage of development. Example: He felt like a dominant primordial beast as he hunted his prey

Lay down sullenly:
put oneself in a horizontal position with a bad-tempered or gloomy attitude. Example: He lay down sullenly on the couch, refusing to talk to anyone

Shrieking locomotives:
trains that make loud, high-pitched, or piercing sounds. Example: He was awakened by the shrieking locomotives passing by his window

Quivering and frothing taunting him:
shaking or trembling and producing foam or bubbles while mocking or insulting him. Example: The snake was quivering and frothing, taunting him with its venomous fangs

Eyes turned bloodshot:
eyes became red or inflamed because of irritation, fatigue, or disease. Example: His eyes turned bloodshot after staying up all night

Mad glitter in his bloodshot eyes:
a crazy or insane sparkle or shine in his red or inflamed eyes. Example: He had a mad glitter in his bloodshot eyes, as if he had lost his mind

He was metamorphosed into a raging fiend:
he was transformed or changed into a furious or evil person or creature. Example: He was metamorphosed into a raging fiend by the curse

Sweater sagged generously at the neck:
sweater hung loosely or droopingly at the neck, showing a lot of space or room. Example: His sweater sagged generously at the neck, revealing his collarbone

Hair bristling:
hair standing up or out in a stiff or prickly manner. Example: His hair bristling, he looked like a porcupine

Pend passion:
to hang or suspend passion or strong emotion. Example: He decided to pend passion until he finished his work

Fierce blow dazed to rush:
a violent or intense hit or strike that caused confusion or loss of consciousness to hurry or move quickly. Example: The fierce blow dazed him to rush to the hospital

He staggered limply about:
he walked or moved unsteadily or weakly around. Example: He staggered limply about after the accident

Flecked with bloody slaver:
spotted or speckled with bloody saliva or foam. Example: His mouth was flecked with bloody slaver, as he bit his tongue

He crumpled up and went down:
he collapsed or fell down in a heap or mass. Example: He crumpled up and went down after the punch

Knocked utterly senseless:
hit or struck completely without sense or consciousness. Example: He was knocked utterly senseless by the blow.

to stand, sit, or walk with a bent or drooping posture, showing laziness or lack of confidence. Example: He slouched in his chair, bored and tired.

Groping in the darkness:
feeling or searching blindly or uncertainly in the dark. Example: He was groping in the darkness, trying to find the switch.

Undesirable acquaintance:
someone who is known but not liked or wanted, usually because of their bad character or behavior. Example: He was an undesirable acquaintance, always causing trouble and asking for favors.

Besetting sin:
a sin or fault that is persistent or habitual, and difficult to overcome. Example: His besetting sin was greed, and he could never resist the temptation of money.

Money clicked between them:
money changed hands; the deal was struck.

Say something gruffly:
to speak in a rough, brusque, or stern manner, often with a low or hoarse voice. For example, “He said gruffly, ‘What do you want?’”

Intimate displeasure:
to express dissatisfaction, disapproval, or annoyance in a subtle or indirect way. For example, “She intimated her displeasure at the prospect of working late.”

Vilely treated:
to be treated in a very unpleasant and usually immoral and unacceptable way. For example, “She committed suicide after being vilely tormented at work.”

His strength ebbed, eyes glazed:
a phrase that describes a state of physical weakness, exhaustion, or death, often accompanied by a loss of liveliness or interest in the eyes. For example, “His strength ebbed, eyes glazed, as he lay on the battlefield.”

Hoarse shriek of a locomotive:
a loud and high-pitched sound made by a self-propelled vehicle used for hauling railroad cars on tracks, often indicating a warning or a crossing. For example, “The hoarse shriek of a locomotive whistling a crossing told him where he was.”

The unbridled anger of a kidnapped king:
a metaphor that describes a feeling of extreme and uncontrollable rage, often caused by a sense of injustice or violation. For example, “He opened his eyes, and into them came the unbridled anger of a kidnapped king.”

Tallow candle:
a candle made from tallow, which is a hard, pale, saturated animal fat found mostly around an animal’s kidneys. Tallow candles were used in ancient times for lighting and religious rituals. For example, “The room was dimly lit by a few tallow candles.”

Soliloquized quality:
the quality of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when alone or regardless of any hearers, especially in a play

A genial voice:
a voice that is friendly and pleasant

To have little ruction:
to have a minor disturbance or quarrel

showing courage or boldness; not fearful or repressed

Face with latent cunning of his native:
face with hidden or undeveloped skill or cleverness of his original or natural place

Come docilely:
come in a quiet way that is easy to influence, persuade, or control

For a dog to be conciliated with a man:
for a dog to be gained or regained the goodwill or favour of a man

Dogs fawned upon the man:
dogs showed slavish devotion or affection to the man, especially by rubbing against him

Talk wheedlingly:
talk in a way that tries to persuade someone by coaxing words or flattery

Uncouth exclamations:
rude and unpleasant expressions of surprise or anger

Wizened man:
a man who is shrivelled or dried up with age

Gloomy morose fellow:
a person who is sullen, ill-tempered, and pessimistic

Ship throbbed to the tireless pulse of the propeller:
the ship vibrated or pulsated with the constant movement of the device that propels it forward

To be pervaded with atmosphere of excitement:
to be filled or permeated with a feeling of eager enjoyment or interest

Jerked from civilization and flung into primordial things:
suddenly removed from a society or culture and thrown into the earliest or original state or condition of things

To be in peril:
to be in serious or immediate danger

Imperative need to be alert:
a very urgent or essential need to be fully aware and attentive

Vicarious experience with wolfish creatures:
an experience that is felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the lives of wolf-like animals

Snarling and yelping:
making angry or aggressive sounds and short, sharp cries of pain or alarm

Run out his scarlet tongue:
extend his bright red tongue out of his mouth

Bloody trampled snow:
snow that is stained with blood and crushed or flattened by footsteps

Swart man:
a man who is dark-skinned or swarthy

He hated him with bitter and deathless hatred:
he felt a strong and intense dislike for him that was harsh and lasting

To be stern:
to be serious and strict in manner or attitude

A draught animal:
an animal that is used to pull heavy loads

He had perpetual hunger pangs:
he had constant or never-ending feelings of pain or hunger

He lost his fastidiousness of his old life:
he lost his very attentive and concerned attitude about accuracy and detail of his previous way of living

A dainty eater:
someone who eats small amounts of food in a delicate or refined way, or who is very selective about what they eat. Example: She was a dainty eater, always nibbling on salads and fruits

Draped loosely in draggled hides:
covered with wet, dirty, or torn animal skins that hang loosely. Example: They were mere skeletons, draped loosely in draggled hides, with blazing eyes and slavered fangs

Blazing eyes and slavered fangs:
eyes that shine brightly with anger or excitement, and teeth that are covered with saliva. Example: The hungry wolves approached the campfire, their blazing eyes and slavered fangs reflecting the light

To be wounded grievously:
to be injured very seriously or severely, often causing great pain or suffering. Example: He was wounded grievously in the battle and had to be carried away on a stretcher

Shake head dubiously:
to move one’s head from side to side as a way of expressing doubt, uncertainty, or disapproval. Example: He shook his head dubiously when she asked him if he trusted her

Singed by the flames:
burned slightly or superficially by fire or heat. Example: He was singed by the flames when he tried to rescue the cat from the burning house

Swaggering up and down before nose:
walking with a confident or arrogant manner, often in front of someone’s face, as a way of showing off or provoking them. Example: He was swaggering up and down before his nose, taunting him with insults and threats

Camp was a howling bedlam:
the place where people were staying was very noisy and chaotic, with loud cries or shouts. Example: The camp was a howling bedlam as the soldiers celebrated their victory over the enemy

Aglow and rampant:
shining with light or colour and spreading or growing quickly and uncontrollably. Example: The city was aglow and rampant with festive decorations and activities

Wrath, writhe, snarl:
wrath means strong anger or fury, often with a desire for revenge. Writhe means to twist or squirm in pain or discomfort. Snarl means to growl or show one’s teeth in a threatening way, or to say something in an angry or harsh tone. Example: He felt a surge of wrath as he saw his enemy writhe on the ground, and he snarled at him with contempt

Howling lugubriously:
making loud, mournful, or sad sounds. Example: The dog was howling lugubriously after its owner left

Sleds churned by:
sleds moved or stirred rapidly or violently by something. Example: The sleds churned by the fierce wind and snow

Prolonged strength drainage of months of toil:
a long-lasting loss of energy or vitality caused by hard work or labour for many months. Example: He felt the prolonged strength drainage of months of toil as he collapsed on his bed

the quality of being inexperienced, immature, or naive. Example: His callowness was evident in his lack of judgment and tact

Incoherent babel:
a confused or unintelligible mixture of sounds or voices. Example: He could not understand anything in the incoherent babel of the crowded market

A clever malingerer and thief:
someone who is smart or cunning, and who pretends to be sick or injured to avoid work or duty, and who steals things from others. Example: He was a clever malingerer and thief, always finding ways to escape his responsibilities and take what he wanted

An awkward blunderer:
someone who is clumsy or unskilled, and who makes mistakes or errors. Example: He was an awkward blunderer, always tripping over his own feet and breaking things

Ruthless struggle for exercise:
a fierce or merciless fight or competition for physical activity or training. Example: He endured the ruthless struggle for exercise in the army boot camp

To save his hide:
to protect oneself from danger, harm, or punishment. Example: He lied to the police to save his hide

The clamour of his stomach:
the loud or noisy sound of one’s stomach, usually indicating hunger or indigestion. Example: He ignored the clamour of his stomach and continued working

Grew callous to ordinary pain:
became insensitive or indifferent to normal or common pain or suffering. Example: He grew callous to ordinary pain after years of abuse and neglect

Loathsome and indigestible:
disgusting and repulsive, and difficult or impossible to digest. Example: He found the food loathsome and indigestible, and he spat it out

It heralded peace or peril:
it announced or signalled the arrival or possibility of peace or danger. Example: The sound of the trumpet heralded peace or peril, depending on the message it conveyed

Most conspicuous trait:
the most noticeable or obvious characteristic or feature. Example: His most conspicuous trait was his bright red hair

Leeward sheltered and snug:
protected from the wind and comfortable or cozy. Example: He found a leeward sheltered and snug spot to rest for the night

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