White Fang Essay, Research Paper
Jack London, a skilled writer, is seen as the best of his time. Many of London’s works are considered to be world classics. In, White Fang, London cleverly transforms the main character, and uses the characters background as the catlyst in this transformation.
II. Summary of White Fang
London wrote White Fang as a contradictory story to his own Call of the wild. White Fang is a story of a dog (White Fang) whoose father is a wolf, and his mother is a dog. He is taken from the wild as a pup and raised with a group of Indians as a sled dog. Whereas in The Call of the Wild the main character was first a domesticated dog and then driven into the wild.
White Fang was taken in by an Indian as a pup, and taught to live the ways of a domesticated sled-dog. One day his Indian master gave White Fang to a dog figther in exchange for bottles of whiskey. White Fang did not approve of this trade, and became a ferocious animal, which is just what his new master wanted. White Fang fought for this man several times and never lost, untill one day. When the day arrived, White Fang had to fight a bull dog, and if it wasn’t for a man named Weedon Scott, he would have died. He was his new master for ever.
III. Analysis of characterization
In White Fang the main character is White Fang.White Fang began his life as a wild wolf-dog, but he was taken by an Indian as a pup, and was domesticated. He soon learned the power of his master and obeyed his laws, even though his wild instincts told him not to, as London notes:
Every instinct of his nature would have impelled him to dash wildly away, had there not suddenly and for the first time arisen in him another and counter instinct. A great awe descended upon him…..Here was mastery and power, something far and away beyond him.(London 64)
White Fang was later traded to a man who used him as a fighting dog. This fighting surfaced White Fang’s anger and caused him to revert back to the ways of the wolf, to kill your prey as instinct tells you to. After a near death experience White Fang was taken from his horrible owner, and lived out his life as a pet.
IV. Criticism of charcterization
White Fang closely resembles one of Lonon’s other creations, Buck. Buck was the main character in the Call of the Wild. Like Buck, White Fang faces various hardships throughout the book. Criticts believe White Fang is also a “nietzschean hound”- (super-dog) like Buck, in that he is “put up on a pedestal” (Kazin 88). White Fang was a loyal dog to all of his masters, even the one that almost killed him by putting him in the ring with a bulldog. Since White Fang is a super dog, he came out of the mess alive. Criticts believe that White Fang is an “awesome appearance of nature, sometimes harsh but always impressive” (McEwen 1).
V. Analysis of setting
White Fang is set in northern Alaska, and in northern California towards the end of the book. London is an unbelievable writer when it comes to describing the setting in his book. The detailed decription and the way he portrays the land is a key part of understanding the hardships that his characters encounter throughout his books. The clarity of his descriptions, puts a detailed picture and understanding in the reader mind, as is visible with this excerpt:
Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen water-way.The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of thier white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light.
It is clear to see why a wild wolf would stay with the security of man over the horrible conditions that was present in London’s creation’s.
VI. Criticism of setting
Many critics feel that the setting’s in London’s books contribute to why his books are known as world classics. One critic feels that ” the power of London’s descriptive images of the northern regions of the U.S. that he knew so well…is a tribute to London’s skill as a writer (McEwen 1). Londons ability to describe the nature is unmatched in the world of naturistic novels.
It is now obvious why London is considered the best writer of his time. As you can see, London cleverly transforms White Fang from a wild wolf, and turns him into a domesticated dog, using his background, as living in the deadly Klondike and being part dog, as the catalyst in this transformation.