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

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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS


PART III


CHAPTER 2


Summary

White Fang has completely given himself up to the mercy of the “man-animals,” his gods. He learns the nature of the Indians and their sense of justice and power. He learns to avoid the mothers of half-grown puppies, due to a few bad experiences with them. He still fights with Lip-lip and is defeated every time. Once, he lures Lip-lip towards Kiche, who, although tied, leaps upon him and injures him badly. White Fang, too, sinks his teeth into Lip-lip’s hind leg.

Kiche is released by Gray Beaver. Mother and son are now together, much to Lip-lip’s disappointment. White Fang tries to entice his mother into the woods but fails, for Kiche is comfortable in the camp. White Fang inevitably follows her there. However, Kiche is soon sent away with another Indian, Three Eagles, as payment for a debt that Gray Beaver owes him. A strip of scarlet cloth, a bearskin, twenty cartridges, and Kiche will go with Three Eagles up the Mackenzie River to the Great Slave Lake. White Fang follows Kiche into the water and heads after the canoe, but a blow from Three Eagles forces him back. Ignoring Gray Beaver’s calls, he continues to swim behind the canoe. Gray Beaver pursues White Fang in a canoe, overtakes him, lifts him by the nape of his neck, and beats him. White Fang bites back, only to be beaten harder. He learns an important lesson; never bite a human. Ashore, he is bitten by Lip-lip, who is beaten by Gray Beaver. White Fang limps behind Gray Beaver to the Indian village, where he must learn to adjust a life without his mother. As time passes, he still yearns for Kiche, but he grows comfortable in camp.



Notes

White Fang is more and more intimidated by his superiors, the ones he calls “gods." He finally surrenders to them totally, just as his mother did, largely out of fear of their sticks, stones and whips. Although he still misses the Wild, White Fang learns that men are just, children can be cruel, and women are the most likely to throw a piece of meat.

White Fang also learns about other animals. He fights with Lip-lip and is always defeated. Although he never gives up or is subdued, the fights leave an indelible impression on him, making him morose and malicious. He spends his time devising ingenious ways to harm his arch-enemy; he even turns into a clever thief, stealing Lip-lip’s share of food. White Fang gets his first taste of revenge when he leads Lip-lip into Kiche’s territory, where his mother ferociously attacks the enemy.

White Fang is devoted to his mother. He tries to call her away from the Indians, into the Wild, but Kiche is not interested. She responds to the call of the camp and always returns there with White Fang following. When Kiche is given to Three Eagles to pay a debt, it is pathetic to see White Fang following his mother as she is being taken away. He faithfully swims after the canoe that carries Kiche. The beatings he receives from Three Eagles and Gray Beaver are something he will never forget; but they teach him the lesson of obedience. Slowly, White Fang becomes reconciled to camp life. He is comfortable with the Indians and enjoys learning new things, but he still yearns for his mother.

The author focuses on how the Indians raise their animals. They never spare the rod, believing it is the only way to keep their animals in check. The method clearly works on White Fang, for he learns not to bite or defy the master. He also learns that his master is just and will take care of him if he obeys. White Fang values any attention paid to him by Gray Beaver, and a piece of meat thrown to him by his “god” is worth a dozen pieces thrown by the squaw.

 

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