The Call of the Wild

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François Character Analysis

An experienced and "swarthy” French-Canadian "half-breed,” François is a courier for the Canadian government, who teaches Buck to become a working dog. François and his sledding partner, Perrault, are wise and just masters. Not only are they skillful sledsmen, they handle their dogs with respect—disciplining, feeding, and protecting them according to the circumstances of the wild. François' speech is heavily accented, which London denotes in the phonetic spelling of his dialogue.

François Quotes in The Call of the Wild

The The Call of the Wild quotes below are all either spoken by François or refer to François. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of The Call of the Wild published in 1990.
Chapter 4 Quotes

At a bound Buck took up the duties of leadership, and where judgment was required, and quick thinking and quick acting he showed himself superior even of Spitz, of whom Franois had never seen an equal.

Related Characters: Buck, Spitz, François
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

Buck is now the pack leader--the lord of the other dogs. Buck has defeated his rival, Spitz, by proving himself to be a stronger and savvier animal. Buck's victory over Spitz is surprising to Francois, the human master of the dogs, because Francois had never seen a dog stronger than Spitz.

The passage is important because it clarifies why, exactly, Buck defeated Spitz. At times, Buck seemed like a sleazy politician, manipulating the other dogs against Spitz in order to defeat him. But here, it becomes clear that the better dog has won: Buck defeated Spitz not because he was sneaky but because he was stronger and faster. In the end, Darwin is right: the fitter animal always survives.

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François Character Timeline in The Call of the Wild

The timeline below shows where the character François appears in The Call of the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Into the Primitive
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
...the red sweater. Buck along with a female dog, Curly, are bought by two French-Canadians, François and Perrault. Departing from Seattle, they take Buck and Curly to the Northland on a... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Law of Club and Fang
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
...Spitz emerging from the fray with his tongue sticking out; he appears to be laughing. François, with an ax, and three other men, club the remaining dogs off of Curly's lifeless... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
Buck receives "another shock" when François harnesses him to the traces. Having observed horses harnessed in a similar manner to haul... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Night descends upon the trail. Buck, troubled by cold and sleeplessness, attempts to enter François and Perrault's candle-lit tent, but they drive him away. Buck wanders the camp in search... (full context)
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
...Sol-leks, Buck receives "instruction" in dog sledding. They correct his errors with little nips, while François administers his whip when needed. A quick learner, Buck "masters his work" after toiling in... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Dominant Primordial Beast
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
...injured almost every single sled dog. With supplies depleted and the dogs riddled with bites, François worries that his dogs have been infected with madness, (rabies), and is uncertain that they... (full context)
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
...freezes or drowns. One morning at Pelly, Dolly suddenly goes mad and begins chasing Buck. François kills Dolly with an ax, but Buck is exhausted from the chase. Spitz, seeing an... (full context)
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
...subvert Spitz's dominance. Buck incites a subtle insurrection when he defends Pike against Spitz's authority. François's whip keeps order, but a showdown between Buck and Spitz is imminent as the team... (full context)
Chapter 4: Who Has Won to Mastership
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
The morning after the fight, Françoisnotices that Spitz is missing and that Buck is covered with wounds. He surmises that Buck... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
In Skaguay, François and Perrault become minor celebrities for the record timing of their run. They celebrate for... (full context)