How is the gray cub's perspective developed in White Fang?

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The author develops the gray cub's point of view through the use of imaginative sympathy, describing how the cub's gradually expanding world looks through the cub's own eyes, and bringing his viewpoint gradually closer to the omniscient authorial perspective.

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Although Jack London's novel White Fang is narrated in the third person, the description of the gray cub's infancy in chapter 3 and the chapters following it sticks closely to the cub's perspective. The narrator continually reminds the reader of the way the world (which at first is synonymous with the cave) appears to the cub:

His world was gloomy; but he did not know that, for he knew no other world. It was dim-lighted; but his eyes had never had to adjust themselves to any other light. His world was very small. Its limits were the walls of the lair; but as he had no knowledge of the wide world outside, he was never oppressed by the narrow confines of his existence.

The narrator further develops the cub's point of view by distinguishing the innate qualities he shares with his brothers and sisters from those that appear particularly pronounced in him. He is the only gray cub in the litter, the only one who resembles his father, and fiercer as well as more curious and more troublesome than the others. He is peculiarly fascinated by light and sees the entrance as a shimmering fourth wall of the cave.

In chapter 4, the narrator introduces a conflict in the gray cub's instincts as his growth demands that he rebel and seek the world outside the cave. The entrance is still described from his perspective as a white wall, a wall that behaves strangely when the cub walks into it:

Unlike any other wall with which he had had experience, this wall seemed to recede from him as he approached. No hard surface collided with the tender little nose he thrust out tentatively before him. The substance of the wall seemed as permeable and yielding as light. And as condition, in his eyes, had the seeming of form, so he entered into what had been wall to him and bathed in the substance that composed it.

It was bewildering. He was sprawling through solidity.

It is by describing all the gray cub's early experiences in such terms of imaginative sympathy that London develops the gray cub's point of view and helps the reader to understand and share it while simultaneously understanding what is happening to the cub from an omniscient perspective. With each succeeding experience, the cub's viewpoint expands so that it more closely resembles the reader's and the author's.

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