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

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Spring arrives, and Gray Beaver finishes the journey. White Fang is one year old, and next to Lip-lip, he is the largest yearling. He continues to have his battles with other dogs. When he fights with Baseek over a piece of shinbone, White Fang rips Baseek’s right ear and wounds him on the shoulder. Baseek, old and weak, gives up. In mid-summer, White Fang encounters Kiche, who has now forgotten him and has had a new litter. She hovers protectively around her litter, trying to drive White Fang away.

When White Fang is three years old, there is a great famine in the land. Only the strong will survive, for the Indians eat the weaker dogs. The Indians also eat the soft-tanned leather of their moccasins and mittens to fill their stomachs. White Fang escapes into the forest to hunt on his own, at times robbing rabbit snares and at times capturing small game, like squirrels and woodmice. At the end of the famine, White Fang meets Lip-lip, with whom he fights until Lip-lip is killed. He then returns to the village and is received warmly and given plenty of fish.


Now a year old, White Fang is fully-grown. Looking like a wolf, his stature and strength are impressive, commanding respect from the other dogs. The older dogs accept him as an equal, and his peers avoid him and give him space. White Fang no longer has to fear the other dogs, even the older ones. In fact, White Fang fights and kills Baseek, attacking him by surprise. It is another example of the survival of the fittest. Baseek, now older and weaker, does not compare to White Fang in strength.

When he comes across Kiche, she snarls at White Fang even though he is overjoyed to see her. She does not appear to remember him and has a new set of puppies to take care of. White Fang is totally puzzled when she attacks him, but he does not retaliate, following an instinct that tells him not to attack a female of his own species.

One thing that White Fang cannot tolerate is being laughed at or ridiculed. It drives him into a rage, and he sometimes releases his fury on the other dogs. Here, as in other places, London attributes a human quality to White Fang.

Back in the woods during the famine, White Fang’s survival instinct again comes to the fore as he hunts for food. When he encounters Lip-lip, he does not hesitate to kill him. He proves he has grown stronger, more powerful, and more independent. His dependence on the Indians, however, is still undeniable, and he returns to camp after the famine is over.


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