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White Fang

Jack London

Questions for Study

Part Five, Chapters 3-5

Bibliography

How does the novel's first part, about Bill and Henry, relate to the rest of White Fang?

As mentioned in the analysis of the first two sections, this part of White Fang seems more like a separate short story. London was a master of the short story, and this side story deals with many of the same themes that White Fang deals with. London uses this tale to describe the setting of the North and to tell about the constant struggle of life for survival. He also uses it to show how the she-wolf, who is Kiche, has these battling instincts inside of her that make her want to be friendly to humans and to other dogs, but how her hunger overpowers those instincts. This story gives the reader background both in the setting and the themes of the rest of the book.

White Fang is about a dog. How do the novel's themes relate to human life?

The first part of White Fang is about the battle for human survival, but it is undisputed that the majority of the book deals with White Fang, a rather wolfish dog. The main point that London makes that is relevant to human life is about environment and its effects on the development of youth, be they dog or human. He shows how human cruelty just breeds more cruelty, a truth that is evident in humans and animals. In the same line, he shows how love can overpower that, but then uses the story of Jim Hall to show how humans need to show that love to others as well as dogs.

What role do women play in White Fang?

Very little. This is predominately a male-centered world, where women have no part to play. The only two exceptions are animals, Kiche and Collie. They both are fierce and hold their own in battles with other wolves or White Fang, mainly because male wolves do not attack female wolves. An interesting research project would be to determine exactly what part women did have in the world of the far North, because London does not seem to mention any.

How do White Fang's masters differ from one another, and how does this affect White Fang?

White Fang's first master, Gray Beaver, ruled White Fang by mutual respect without love. He beat White Fang occasionally, but he lived in a harsh world and expected White Fang to help him live in the world, which means that White Fang had to be made harsh. However, White Fang's development while with this master came mainly from the other dogs' torment than from his master. Beauty Smith was much crueler and more beastly than Gray Beaver. He ruled White Fang by hatred, locking him up with chains and bars and laughing at him to rile his anger. This made White Fang more and more angry and brought out the beastly side of the dog. Only Weedon Scott ruled White Fang by love. The love gentles White Fang. While he stays fierce to outsiders or those that attack him or his people, the love of Scott makes White Fang so that he can finally be happy and content.

What are the laws of the Wild?

The foremost law of the Wild is "Eat or be eaten." However, many other laws play upon that law, or the battle between life and death. Life is harsh; everything leads to death, is another combination of laws that permeate existence in the Wild. As White Fang moves further and further from the Wild, these laws seem to affect his life less and less. However, they still are there, in the background, and partly explain his fear of the streetcars.

Discuss London's writing style.

London has a short, simple style. His stories are written for the masses, which makes them the perfect books for older children. He uses many active verbs and sentences, and attempts to give some of the flavor of the human speech. The plots at times seem contrived--he doesn't worry about making each part of the plot relate to other parts, he is instead concerned with writing a good story. Probably the most difficult stylistic decision for London was choosing how he would write about the wolves and dogs. He chooses to not humanize them as many books about animals do, but instead tries to show humans how they would see the world if they were not human, and some of the differences between men and animals.

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White Fang

by hannahc143, August 22, 2012

i agree....

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5 out of 14 people found this helpful

mkay

by mrtaj37, April 15, 2013

mkay jack london mkay

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2 out of 3 people found this helpful

White fang

by ckroon, October 22, 2013

tis one big dog

See all 4 readers' notes   →

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