The Call of the Wild

John Thornton Character Analysis

An experienced gold miner and outdoorsmen, John Thornton is Buck's final owner and his ideal master. Thornton takes ownership of Buck when he saves him from Hal's brutal beating at White River. Thornton takes Buck deep into the uncharted Yukon in search of gold. They develop a deep and loving companionship.

John Thornton Quotes in The Call of the Wild

The The Call of the Wild quotes below are all either spoken by John Thornton or refer to John Thornton. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Call of the Wild published in 1990.
Chapter 5 Quotes
"If you strike that dog again, I'll kill you," he at last managed to say in a choking voice.
Related Characters: John Thornton (speaker), Buck, Hal
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 6 Quotes

Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller'sÉ.With the Judge's sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge's grandsons, aÉpompous guardianshipÉ.with the Judge himself, a stately dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.

Related Characters: Buck, John Thornton, Judge Miller
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

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“As you love me, Buck. As you love me.”
Related Characters: John Thornton (speaker), Buck
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 7 Quotes

It was the call, the many-noted call, sounding more luringly and compellingly than ever before. And as never before he was ready to obey. John Thornton was dead. The last tie was broken. Man and the claims of man no longer bound him.

Related Characters: Buck, John Thornton
Related Symbols: The Call
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non pro

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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John Thornton Character Timeline in The Call of the Wild

The timeline below shows where the character John Thornton appears in The Call of the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: The Toil of Trace and Trail
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
...spring has arrived. The ice and snow is starting to melt as they arrive at John Thornton's camp at the mouth of White River. (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
The dogs drop down in exhaustion at John Thornton's camp. Thornton advises Hal not to cross the river, because the ice is thinning.... (full context)
Chapter 6: For the Love of Man
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
Under Thornton's care, Buck recovers. Experiencing love for the first time, Buck comes to adore and admire... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
One day, while resting on a steep cliff, Thornton tests Buck's loyalty by commanding him to jump off its ledge. Buck starts forward, but... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
Buck's devotion continues at Circle City, where Thornton gets into a bar fight with a hot-tempered man, called "Black" Burton. Buck comes to... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
Buck proves his loyalty again when he saves Thornton's life later that year. During a boat launching, Thornton is flung out of the raft.... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
...fame that winter in Dawson when he performs an incredible "exploit." In the Eldorado Saloon, Thornton boasts that Buck can start a sled with a thousand pounds, break it out of... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
...must break the runners out of the ice in order for the wager to hold. Thornton harnesses him to the sled, carrying forty, twenty-five pound sacks of flour, and whispers to... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Thornton shouts directions at Buck to pull the sled. Straining under the traces, Buck swings to... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Sounding of the Call
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
With the money Thornton wins from the wager he sets out eastward with Buck, Skeet, Nig, Hans, and Pete,... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
...senses the summoning of the call as they cavort in the woods, but Buck remembers John Thornton and eventually returns to his camp. (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
Buck remains by Thornton's side for two days, but grows restless, returning to the forest in search of the... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Wild Law and Order Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
On the trail back to camp, Buck finds one of Thornton's dogs dying and Hans face down in the ground, dead. Seeing the native Yeehats dancing... (full context)
The Man-Dog relationship Theme Icon
The Pursuit of Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication to Devolution Theme Icon
Buck mourns over John Thornton's body but that night hears the call. The wild wolf pack circles him. They... (full context)