Free Essay on Jack London's White Fang

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Free Essay on White Fang - Jack London

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Two of Jack London's most famous stories were The Call of
the Wild and White Fang. Though they are completely unrelated
stories they have many similarities that I found unique. Along
with many similarities in the plot there were many similarities
in the characters, human and animal, which make these two stories
the topic of this paper. "Jack London was both an outdoors-man
and a writer and that combination was what made his novels so
realistic."(Walcutt 124). Jack London born on January 12, 1876
finished his second novel, The Call of the Wild, in 1904 that was
his most famous novel. Two years later he finished another of his
most famous novels White Fang. His inspiration for these novels
came from the time he spent up in the Klondike that became the
basis for these two novels. Till the day of his death, from a
long battle with throat cancer, these were the two most famous
novels he had written.
The Call of the Wild was Jack London's most famous
novel,"This is the novel that separated London from all writers
of that era."(Brooks 35) Written in 1904 it was a story about a
dog who was brought into Klondike to pull sleds during the gold
rush. The name Call of the Wild comes from the natural instinct
that animals have to be free in nature. The main characters in
this story are Buck the four- year-old half Saint Bernard and
half-Scottish shepherd, John Thorton and the Scottish half-
breed. Buck was stolen from his home in California during the
gold-rush in the Klondike. Dogs were a necessity and considering
the size of Buck he had the makings of a great sled-dog. Buck,
being thrown into a totally different environment, encounters


such problems such as, how to stay warm by burrowing into the
snow to sleep, how to survive the lack of daily meals, and how to
rely on his native and natural instincts. Buck soon becomes one
of the most dominant dogs on the sled team. After living like a
wild, independent animal for weeks upon weeks he soon learns to
fend for himself. He becomes more familiar with killing animals
for food and the primordial beast inside him begins to take over.
He is no longer a domesticated animal but a wild dog. He soon
becomes the leader of his pack of sled-dogs by beating the former
leader, Spitz in a fight. Buck became such a popular sled-dog in
the Klondike that he was admired by all. That is when The
Scottish half-breed bought him and used Buck for many endurance
and strength contests. This over work almost killed the dog. Buck
was saved from this inhumane treatment by a man named John
Thorton whom he grew to love. Through complete devotion buck
risked his life for John but did not succeed because John was
killed. After this with having no more attachments Buck went to
live with a pack of wolves. Buck was no longer a pet but a wild
animal.
White Fang was Jack London's next novel once again was
inspired by his life in the Klondike and the relationship between
man and beast. This Novel main characters are White Fang who is
three-quarters gray wolf and one-quarter dog this is who story
revolves, Mit-sah and Gray Beaver the Indians who were
responsible for training White Fang and Weedon Scott who
develops a special relationship with White Fang. The story is set

in the Klondike during the gold rush and revolves around the sled
dogs and how they are lured by the female wolves in the wild and
killed. One occasion the sled dog mated with the female wolf and
White fang was born. The mother wolf and her cub(White Fang)
wander into an Indian camp where White Fang was taken and raised
by Mit-sah and Grey Beaver. White Fang was learning to be
domesticated and became a great pet for the Indians. Grey
Beaver, who was addicted to alcohol, then traded White Fang to an
evil man named Beauty Smith. Smith would use White fang to win
money by entering him in fights. He almost killed the dog until a
young man named Weedon Scott stepped in and took White Fang away
for the fighting and the cruel treatments he was getting. When
Weedon first took the dog, White Fang was a mean, vicious animal
but the two soon began to bond and White Fang was starting to
turn back into a domesticated animal. The story ends with White
Fang going back to California with Weedon and becoming a
domesticated pet.
These two novels are similar in many ways."The way London
develops these animals with anthropomorphic characteristic makes
him one of the most creative writers of his time."(Foner 69)
Antropomorphic means attributing human qualities to an animal,
and this is seen in both novels.London did switch the beginning
and outcome of the two animals this is seen by Buck going from a
domesticated animal to a wild beast and White Fang went from a
wild animal to a domesticated pet. Not only are the settings
similar but the time period and the major concern during that


time period were the same, the gold-rush. The ways the story
unfolded were also similar. Both animals started their lives out
in a very normal fashion but then they were brought into a
different environment and forced to change. The introduction of
characters was also similar the way they were led through life
not knowing what there purpose was until they met their final
character and then figured out what they had to do. For with Fang
it was to be with Weedon and be a pet, for Buck it was to go out
and live with the wolves and be a wild animal. The main and final
similarity was the relationship between man and beast. White Fang
learned to understand humans and decided that it was his goal in
life to be one with them. Buck learned that his purpose in life
was to be a wild animal and be as far away from humans as
possible.
Jack London wrote these two novels with the basis of trying
to compare the differences of domesticated and wild animals put
into different situations with humans. His main point in these
two novels is to express that animals can be changed trough the
interference of human contact. Sometimes humans can domesticate a
wild animal so they are at one together but sometimes they can
take a domesticated animal and put then in a situation where they
have no choice but to be wild to survive.

 

 

Outline
I.
A. Thesis
B. Introduction
II. The Call of the Wild
A. Characters
1. Buck
2. John Throton
3. A scotch half-breed
B. Plot
III.White Fang
A. Characters
1. White Fang
2. Mit-sah and Grey Beaver
3. Weedon Scott
B. Plot
IV. Similarities
A. Opposite Plots
B. Man vs. Human
V. Conclusion


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