Free Study Guide for White Fang by Jack London - Free Book Notes|
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS
The other wolves are getting bolder as they approach the men, but the remaining dogs manage to hold them off. Bill has lost hope by now and is sure that the wolves will eventually overpower them. When Henry snaps at him, he does not even get a response from Bill. Henry resolves to try to lift his companion’s spirits the next day.
The dark mood of the novel is further developed in this chapter. Although it is normal daytime, the light lasts for only a few hours. Additionally, whenever the men stop for the night, the cries of the wolves come closer and closer. The men are also slowly losing their dog-team to the wolves. A female wolf comes amongst the dogs and lures them away. Bill believes that the she-wolf is tame, not afraid of humans. Bill states “that animal’s familiarity with campfires is suspicious and immoral.”
The men “amuse” themselves at the sight of the gleaming circle of wolf eyes that surrounds them and draws closer every night. The men believe they are helpless. A couple of shots at these animals would probably have been enough to scare the wolves away, but the men are nearly out of ammunition and cannot spare the shots. They must rely upon the sight of the fire the keep the wolves at bay.
The fact that nothing is left of Spanker, except for the stick to which he was tied, shows how hungry the wolves are, making them very aggressive. They relentless pursue Bill and Henry, which leads Bill to conclude that they are going to end up as prey. Henry’s encouraging remarks do not seem to have any effect on Bill, who is typically preoccupied with his own thoughts.
The she-wolf is shown to be a unique creature in both appearance and character. The unusual red tinge of her coat is quite striking and implies that she is not a pure wolf. Her behavior is also unlike that of the typical wolf, for she is not afraid to draw near the fire or the humans.
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. 09 May 2017