The Characters (Masterplots II: American Fiction Series, Revised Edition)
London did not have the benefit of twentieth century studies of wolf behavior in nature and of instances in which a wolf has bonded with a human. Instead, he relied on his own imagination and the highly inaccurate conjectures of nineteenth century naturalists. Therefore, the reader can accept only the characters of White Fang and the other wolves on the allegorical level. The human characters function more as types than individuals, especially the three masters of White Fang. His character is the only one that London allows to grow.
White Fang is born in the wild. The best part of the book occurs when he ventures out of the cave and into the wild. White Fang grows up hating other dogs and wolves and regards all creatures in terms of whether they are his prey or he is their prey. Eventually, his last master redeems White Fang by love and domesticates him.
Kiche was born in captivity and escaped into the wild but ultimately returns to her human masters. The high point of her life occurs when the three male wolves fight to the death to determine who will mate with her. Eventually, Kiche becomes indifferent to White Fang, her son, and raises another litter of cubs.
One-Eye got his name because he lost his right eye in a battle years before the events described in the novel. He is intelligent, brave, and dedicated; most important, One-Eye is a survivor. He dies only because he is trying to feed his family.
Cherokee is a...
(The entire section is 541 words.)
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