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Free Study Guide for White Fang by Jack London - Free Book Notes

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LITERARY ELEMENTS


SETTING

The first part of the action is set in the “Northland Wild,” a region in the arctic. The characters, Bill and Henry, are heading for Fort McGurry. Part II of the book shifts to the Mackenzie River, along which the wolf pack is traveling. The Indian Camp is located nearby. The she-wolf has her litter above a stream that flows into the Mackenzie in the summer.

Part III is set in the Indian camp. White Fang meets the Indians in the woods, and from there he goes with them to their camp. They go down the valley until they come to a point where the stream runs into the Mackenzie River. This is where the Indians make their camp.

Gray Beaver takes White Fang on a journey up the Mackenzie. They make a stop at the Great Slave Lake. Another journey they make is along the Mackenzie, across the Rockies and down the Porcupine to the Yukon. They arrive at Fort Yukon, where Gray Beaver decides to trade at the Hudson Bay Company. The town is full of gold seekers.

White Fang accompanies Beauty Smith up the Yukon to Dawson, where he later meets Weedon Scott, who takes him to California in the last part of the book. Scott lives a few miles away from San Francisco. Sierra Vista, the residence of Scott and his family, is White Fang’s home for a long time.

The last chapter talks about a convict from San Quentin Prison, who hails from San Francisco. He reaches Sierra Vista and is killed there.


LIST OF CHARACTERS


Major Characters


White Fang
The gray wolf cub around which the novel revolves. His character develops over the course of the novel.

She-wolf (Kiche)
The mother of White Fang and the leader of the wolf pack who mates with One Eye. She is highly experienced with humans.

Gray Beaver
The Indian master of White Fang who can be quite violent. He becomes addicted to alcohol, loses his money and White Fang, and returns to his camp.

Beauty Smith
The white master of White Fang, who trains him for dogfights, abuses him and makes money at White Fang’s expense. He is the personification of cruelty.


Lip-lip
The domesticated dog of the Indian camp. White Fang becomes hostile to and fights with this dog.

Weedon Scott
The kindest master White Fang ever has. He completely changes White Fang’s attitude and is responsible for White Fang’s transformation from an aggressive wolf-dog into a faithful, responsible house dog. He is a mining expert.


Minor Characters

 

Bill
An explorer in the Northland Wild who falls prey to the wolves.

Henry
Bill’s companion who survives the ordeal in the wild due to the chance intervention of a group of strangers.

One-Eye
Kiche’s Mate and the father of White Fang. He is killed in a fight with the female lynx.

Female Lynx
An aggressive creature with a bad temper. She fights with the she-wolf, but is later killed by her.

Large Gray Wolf
One of the leaders of the wolf pack. He is a prospective mate of Kiche, but is killed in a fight.

Three-Year-Old-Wolf
One of the mates of Kiche. He is killed by One Eye in a fight.

Three Eagles
The Indian to whom Gray Beaver owes a debt.

Salmon Tongue
An Indian from whom White Fang gets his first pleasurable experience of physical affection.

Mit-sah
The son of Gray Beaver. He learns to tame dogs and drive sleds.

Kloo-kooch
Gray Beaver’s Squaw who is a kindly woman.

Baseek
An old dog of whom White Fang is at first afraid. This changes when White Fang grows up.

Tim Keenan
The owner of Cherokee, the bulldog, who makes money from dog fights.

Cherokee
A bull dog who nearly kills White Fang in a fight.

Matt
The dog-musher and assistant to Weedon Scott. He encourages Scott to give White Fang a chance to prove his intelligence.

Major
One of Scott’s dogs. White Fang kills him over a piece of meat.

Judge Scott
Weedon Scott’s father. He has sentenced Jim Hall, an innocent man, to fifty years of imprisonment. Although he was not involved in the initial conspiracy against Jim Hall, the convict comes after him on his escape from prison.

Maud / Weedon
Scott’s children. They are liked by White Fang.

Beth / Mary
Scott’s sisters.

Alice
Scott’s wife. She is initially afraid of White Fang and concerned for her children’s safety.

Mother of Weedon Scott
She is snarled at by White Fang when she embraces Scott upon his return home.

Collie
The female sheepdog who is against White Fang but later has his puppies.

Dick
The dog who could have been friends with White Fang, had it not been for White Fang’s morose and distrustful nature.

Jim Hall
An escaped convict who is determined to kill Judge Scott. He is killed by White Fang.

 

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