Free Study Guide for White Fang by Jack London - Free Book Notes|
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS
The chapter, told from the point-of-view of the she-wolf, focuses on animal life in the Wild. She is the leader of the pack and has three males as her “assistants”. All three males have distinct personalities. One is the gray wolf, who snarls at the younger members when they try to pass him; but he is gentle and patient with the she-wolf. Another companion is the old wolf, who is always on the she-wolf’s right side, since only his left eye is intact. When he first tries to mate with the she-wolf, she discourages him. The third assistant is the ambitious, three year-old wolf, who is stronger than the other members of the pack. He, however, is defeated and killed by when the other two assistants join forces and attack him.
The she-wolf and her pack are always in search of food, constantly starving in this frozen environment where there is little life to prey upon. When they encounter a moose, they quickly attack and devour its flesh; the eight hundred pounds does not satisfy the hunger of the forty wolves, and the wolves move on. It is the she-wolf who first locates Bill and Henry, hearing their voices and the whining of their dogs.
The she-wolf is shown to have had experience with human beings, for she is not afraid of fire or of being close to the men. In fact, she is drawn to the Indians, with whom she once lived. By contrast, the one-eyed wolf is a typical wild animal, afraid of humans. The scene in which the one-eyed wolf tries to capture the rabbit is vividly described. The she-wolf, wise and experienced, understands the trap set by the Indians and eats only the rabbit’s head, avoiding the hidden snare.
This entire chapter shows that Jack London possesses considerable knowledge of the activities of wolves, their behavior, and their responses. The fights, the attempts to woo the she-wolf, her searching for a safe place to have her cubs, and the details of pack psychology all add to the authenticity of the story.
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. 09 May 2017