Stefani's Reviews > White Fang

White Fang by Jack London
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Dec 30, 11

bookshelves: classic, native-american-culture, arctic

Jack London books are not for the uninitiated into the world of non-superfluous writing about man's infinite struggle with nature. Several months earlier, I made a vain attempt to read "Call of the Wild," but was unable to get beyond the first few pages of tedious prose that seemed to only worsen with each turn of the page.

Despite my initial bad experience, I took a road trip to Canada earlier this week and felt that reading Jack London in preparation would be entirely apropos for my Northlands destination, lest I should encounter any roving wolf packs or wild lynxes in the wilds of Montreal.

The stark and brutally cold landscape of Canada in the early 1900s is an "eat or be eaten" environment that defines White Fang's upbringing as a wolf-dog hybrid. From the moment of his birth, he is made aware that the harshness and unforgiving nature of the wild only rewards those that are strong and uncompromising. He is stronger, quicker and a better fighter than other dogs, causing him to be feared by others and outcast from the pack. His self-sufficency allows him survival but puts him at odds with both human kind and the assured safety of a wolf pack. Interesting metaphor for society in general.

Upon his encounter with a group of Native Americans that want to tame him, internal conflict ensues with White Fang battling his instincts as a wolf against his will to submit from his small percentage of dog heritage. Through these chapters, the story is written from the perspective of White Fang and how he views man as "gods" to be respected and submitted to.

Probably most poignant for dog lovers and those in awe of their servitude to man, White Fang is able to overcome any wild tendencies he might have with the help of a patient and loving owner, eventually traveling to live as a pet to the man who tamed him. Later on, he saves the family from grave danger causing me to think that London instilled White Fang with superhero like qualities that no ordinary dog could live up to.




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