(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

White Fang is told in six parts. In the first, two frontiersmen, Bill and Henry, have a running battle with a wolfpack. In the second, the perspective shifts to the wolves, especially One-Eye and Kiche, whose mating produces White Fang. The perspective shifts for the last time to White Fang himself. The last four parts consist first of White Fang living with his mother in the wild and then his life under three very different human masters.

Jack London uses the omniscient third-person narrator throughout the book. In the first part, Henry and Bill are driving a dogsled containing the corpse of an English lord whose body they are taking back to civilization. They discover that they are being followed by a pack of wolves. A she-wolf lures the sled dogs one at a time outside their camp at night, and the wolves kill and eat them. For some reason, Henry and Bill have only one rifle and three bullets. Bill wastes those bullets in a futile pursuit of the wolves, which kill and eat him. Henry stays alive by keeping a fire going. Finally, another dogsled team traveling in the opposite direction rescues him.

The perspective then changes to the she-wolf. She and the pack search for food while at the same time three males show an interest in her. The first is a large gray wolf who is leader of the pack, the second an old wolf without his right eye, and the third a three-year-old male. The gray wolf and the old wolf, called One-Eye, team up to kill the young one, then the old one attacks the gray wolf from behind and kills him. This gives One-Eye the right to mate with the she-wolf. Eventually, the she-wolf finds a cave and gives birth to a litter of cubs.

The she-wolf tends her young while One-Eye hunts for...

(The entire section is 711 words.)


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Jack London intended White Fang to be an optimistic sequel to his more famous book, The Call of the Wild. White Fang...

(The entire section is 229 words.)