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White Fang Essay

2138 words - 9 pages

During Jack London’s life he has written many great novels, perhaps the greatest was White Fang. In 1906 he wrote the legendary novel about a stray wolf reverting to domestication. The majority of this book concerns White Fangs’ struggles with savage nature, Indians, dogs and white men. However, we also see White Fang is tamed by love and turns from a savage wolf into a loving and domesticated dog. White Fang begins with two men traveling through the artic with a dog team and sled, followed by a pack of famished wolves who pick off the dogs, one by one at night and eventually gets one of the men. The point of view then shifts to wolves and stays with them for nearly the entire story. “Over Jack London life he has wrote many books with Darwin's popular ideas in mind, particularly White Fang1 ”. The process of "natural selection" means that only the strongest, brightest, and most adaptable elements of a species will survive. This idea is embodied by the character, White Fang. From the onset, he is the strongest wolf cub, the only one of the litter to survive the famine. His strength and intelligence make him the most feared dog in the Indian camp. While defending Judge Scott, Weedon Scott’s father, White Fang takes three bullets but is miraculously able to survive. One element of the book one might overlook is White Fang's ability to adapt to any new circumstances and somehow survive. He learns how to fight the other dogs, he learns to obey new masters, he learns to fight under the evil guidance of Beauty and, finally, he learns to love and be tamed by Weedon Scott. In the novel White Fang by Jack London, the main character learns to adapt to its surroundings ultimately leading to his domestication.
There are many ways that the wild has influenced White Fang throughout his life. The beginning of this novel gives us one glimpse into the possible "other life" for White Fang. London chooses to show us the development White Fang, from a scientific perspective. “He compares the puppies to plants, and shows how even without consciousness; they are drawn toward the light2”. He also shows us White Fangs exploration of the outside - he thinks that he could walk on water, but then learns that it moves and is wet, and learns that it’s a stream. His descriptions show us the world as a wolf-pup. We understand what London means by the "wall of light," but London's description of it opens us to the perception of the pup. White Fang is superior to the dogs in the puppy pack. He is an unusual animal, his mother is half-wolf and half-dog; his father is a full wolf. But his ferocious character is supernatural: "White Fang became wickeder and more ferocious than it was his natural right to be.1" Also, when White Fang does snarl, he can "snarl more terribly than any dog. Into his snarl he incorporated all that was vicious, malignant, and horrible.3" White Fang is "more enduring, more cruel, more ferocious and more...

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