Free Study Guide for White Fang by Jack London - Free Book Notes|
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
At Fort Yukon, White Fang encounters his first white man. He is suspicious of their dogs, and fights them regularly. He realizes, however, that when he kills the dogs, the gods get angry at this. He cleverly launches a fatal attack on a dog and leaves it behind for the dogs to rip him apart. Upon seeing this, one man fires six shots and kills six dogs in the ‘pack.’ White Fang walks freely away.
When White Fang is made the leader of the team, the dogs hate him more than ever. They resent that he is a creature from the wild and are jealous over the extra meat he receives. Worst of all, White Fang cannot stand running before the pack of yelling dogs, whom he has taken three years to dominate. He quickly learns, however, that he cannot stop unless ordered to do so, for the others dogs in the team will have enough slack to attack him.
White Fang survives adverse circumstances effortlessly. His superiority over the other dogs is unquestionable. He is always a step ahead of the rest of them. His cunning is likewise undisputed, as he slashes a dog’s throat but lets the other dogs mangle it. While six dogs are killed for the attack, the guilty White Fang escapes punishment.
A mention is made here of the gold rush, which contributes to the book’s historical setting. Thousands of gold hunters are bustling in the Klondike while searching for gold; Gray Beaver trades his furs with them for an enormous profit. The men in the gold rush are the first white men that White Fang has ever seen. It is interesting that he automatically assumes that the white gods are more powerful than the Indians. At first, White Fang is suspicious of them at first and never lets them touch him; later he decides they are harmless, but he still hates and fights their dogs.
The author comments in this chapter that White Fang’s nature could not have been what it is had it not been for Lip-lip’s aggression towards him. Additionally, Gray Beaver’s cruel treatment of him has played a major role. The constant beatings have made him hard and cruel, capable of handling any situation.
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. 09 May 2017