White Fang

White Fang

White Fang Character Analysis

One-quarter dog and three parts wolf, White Fang is a strong and resilient canine who is bred in the wild, raised by Indians, and becomes a ferocious fighting dog under the care of the cruel Beauty Smith. Under the care of Weedon Scott, White Fang learns the laws of man and transforms into a loyal and loving dog.

White Fang Quotes in White Fang

The White Fang quotes below are all either spoken by White Fang or refer to White Fang. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of White Fang published in 1991.
Part 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

The life that was so swiftly expanding within [White Fang] urged him continually toward the wall of light.

Related Characters: White Fang
Related Symbols: Light
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

But there were forces at work in the cub, the greatest of which was growth. Instinct and law demanded of him obedience. But growth demanded disobedience. His mother and fear impelled him to keep away from the white wall. Growth is life, and life is forever destined to make for life.

Related Characters: White Fang
Related Symbols: Light
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Chapter 1 Quotes

Every instinct of [White Fang's] nature would have impelled him to dash wildly away [from the Indians], had there not suddenly and for the first time arisen in him another and counter instinct. A great awe descended upon him. He was beaten down to movelessness by an overwhelming sense of his own weakness and littleness. Here was mastery and power, something far and away beyond him.

Related Characters: White Fang
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Chapter 2 Quotes

He [White Fang] belonged to [men]. His actions were theirs to command. His body was theirs to maul, to stamp upon, to tolerate. Such was the lesson that was quickly borne in upon him. It came hard – counter to much that was strong and dominant in his own nature; and while he disliked it – unknown to himself he was learning to like it. It was a placing of his destiny in another's hands, a shifting of the responsibilities of existence. This in itself was a compensation, for it is always easier to lean upon another than to stand alone.

Related Characters: White Fang
Page Number: 59-60
Explanation and Analysis:

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There was something calling to him [White Fang] out there in the open. His mother heard it, too. But she heard also that other and louder call, the call of the fire and of man—the call which it has been given alone of all animals to the wolf to answer.

Related Characters: White Fang, Kiche, the she-wolf
Related Symbols: Fire, The Call
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Chapter 3 Quotes

There was a difference between White Fang and them. Perhaps they sensed his wild-wood breed, and instinctively felt for him the enmity that the domestic dog feels for the wolf.

Related Characters: White Fang
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3, Chapter 4 Quotes

[White Fang's] development was in the direction of power. In order to face the constant danger of hurt and even of destruction, his predatory and protective faculties were unduly developed. He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with ironlike muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel, more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survive the hostile environment in which he found himself.

Related Characters: White Fang
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 2 Quotes

White Fang's feel of Beauty Smith was bad. From the man's distorted body and twisted mind, in occult ways, like mists rising from malarial marshes, came emanations of the unhealth within. Not by reasoning, not by the five senses alone, but by other and remoter and uncharted senses, came the feeling to White Fang that the man was ominous with evil, pregnant with hurtfulness, and therefore a thing bad, and wisely to be hated.

Related Characters: White Fang, Beauty Smith
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 3 Quotes

[Men] were molding the clay of him into a more ferocious thing than had been intended by Nature. Nevertheless, Nature had given him plasticity. Where many another animal would have died or had its spirit broken, he adjusted himself and lived, and at not expense of the spirit.

Related Characters: White Fang
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 4 Quotes

The basic life that was in [White Fang] took charge of him. The will to exist of his body surged over him. He was dominated by this mere flesh-love of life.

Related Characters: White Fang
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 5 Quotes

[White Fang] did not want to bite the hand, and he endured the peril of it until his instinct surged up in him, mastering him with its insatiable yearning for life.

Related Characters: White Fang, Weedon Scott
Related Symbols: Man's Hand
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

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I agree with you, Mr. Scott. That dog's too intelligent to kill.

Related Characters: Matt (speaker), White Fang, Weedon Scott
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4, Chapter 6 Quotes

[Scott's] voice was soft and soothing. In spite of the menacing hand, the voice inspired confidence. And in spite of the assuring voice, the hand inspired distrust. White Fang was torn by conflicting feelings, impulses. It seemed he would fly to pieces, so terrible was the control he was exerting, holding together by an unwonted indecision the counter-forces that struggled within him for mastery.

Related Characters: White Fang, Weedon Scott
Related Symbols: Man's Hand
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

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It was the beginning of the end for White Fang—the ending of the old life and the reign of hate. A new and incomprehensibly fairer life was dawning. It required much thinking and endless patience on the part of Weedon Scott to accomplish this. And on the part of White Fang it required nothing less than a revolution. He had to ignore the urges and promptings of instinct and reason, defy experience, give the lie to life itself.

Related Characters: White Fang, Weedon Scott
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 5, Chapter 3 Quotes

[White Fang] obeyed his natural impulses until they ran counter to some law... But most potent in his education were the cuff of his master's hand, the censure of the master's voice. It was the compass by which he steered and learned to chart the manners of a new land and life.

Related Characters: White Fang, Weedon Scott
Related Symbols: Man's Hand
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

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White Fang Character Timeline in White Fang

The timeline below shows where the character White Fang appears in White Fang. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 3
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Among the she-wolf's litter, the gray cub (White Fang), shows himself to be the strongest and fiercest of the pups. With his... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Mating and Parenthood Theme Icon
The she-wolf rebukes the gray cub for crawling towards the light. From her sharp nudges and swift strokes, he feels pain... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Yet, the gray cub's fascination with the light at the edge of the cave increases everyday. He perceives it... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Mating and Parenthood Theme Icon
Famine strikes the she-wolf's lair. One Eye desperately hunts for meat, but all the cubs, save the gray cub, die of hunger. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
The cub, out of fear of his mother and the unknown, keeps away from the mouth of... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
The cub crosses the threshold of the cave, but tumbles down a slope. The light dazzles him,... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
The cub then comes upon a stream. Thinking that water is a solid surface, he falls in... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Emerging from the water, the cub encounters a yellow mother weasel. It attacks him at the throat, nearly killing him, but... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
After two days, the cub ventures out of the cave and kills the weasel's pup. His ambition to hunt grows,... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Mating and Parenthood Theme Icon
The famine is broken when the she-wolf brings home a lynx kitten for the cub to eat. But this meat does not come without a cost. The lynx appears in... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
The cub comes to his mother's aid, biting into the lynx's leg. Together, they kill the lynx... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Recovered from the attack, the cub ventures out of the cave and sees man for the first time. A group of... (full context)
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Mating and Parenthood Theme Icon
An Indian approaches him, lowering his hand to touch the cub's head. The cub cannot decide whether "to yield," or "to fight," so he bares his... (full context)
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication Theme Icon
...away to the wild during a famine a year before. He claims her and her cub, whom he names White Fang, as his own by tying them down with a stick... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication Theme Icon
Gray Beaver rubs White Fang's tummy, causing him to submit to his master's touch. At first afraid, he enjoys the... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
The other dogs attempt to attack White Fang and his mother, but the Indian men drive them away with their yells and their... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Gray Beaver takes White Fang and Kiche to the Indian camp, where White Fang meets Lip-lip, a fierce fighting puppy,... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
White Fang watches Gray Beaver make fire for the first time. Amazed, White Fang approaches it, but... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
White Fang's "allegiance" to man strengthens as he runs about the Indian camp, learning to live under... (full context)
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Lip-lip bullies White Fang to no end, curtailing White Fang's puppyish aspect and compelling him to develop a cunning... (full context)
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
One day White Fang and Kiche stray to the edge of the forest, where they hear the wild's call.... (full context)
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
...off to another Indian to pay off a debt. In terror at losing his mother, White Fang jumps into the water to pursue Kiche, as she's taken aboard a canoe. Gray Beaver,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Lip-lip's terror over White Fang worsens, as he goads the other dogs into bullying White Fang. Lip-lip's persecution causes White... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
The entire camp turns on White Fang , except Gray Beaver. But White Fang does not care, because he has learned to... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
The Indians break camp in the fall to go off hunting, but White Fang deliberately stays behind, hiding in the forest. He takes pleasure in his freedom. But that... (full context)
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
White Fang runs for forty hours straight, neither eating, nor resting. His body is giving out, but... (full context)
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
By nightfall, White Fang finds the Indian camp. Expecting a beating, he humbly crawls towards Gray Beaver. He surrenders... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
In December, Gray Beaver takes his family to the town of Mackenzie. White Fang is harnessed to Mit-sah's sled. All the dogs come to hate the sled's leader, Lip-lip,... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
White Fang favors the companionship of man over his fellow dogs. Even so, Gray Beaver and White... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
White Fang bites a boy who attempts to club him, but Gray Beaver defends White Fang, even... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
In the spring, White Fang is a year old, physically full grown, and can hold his own against the camp's... (full context)
Mating and Parenthood Theme Icon
Later in the summer, White Fang encounters his mother, Kiche, tending to a new litter of pups. Not recognizing her son,... (full context)
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
As time goes on, White Fang's environment continues to mold his character, like a piece of clay. He is shaped into... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mating and Parenthood Theme Icon
In the third year of White Fang's life, a famine strikes the Indian camp, so White Fang escapes to the forest, where... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
White Fang also encounters Lip-lip in the woods. While White Fang has thrived in the wild, Lip-lip... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
With Lip-lip gone, Mit-sah makes White Fang the leader of the sled pack. The other dogs become jealous of White Fang and... (full context)
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
When White Fang is nearly five, Gray Beaver takes him to Fort Yukon. Along the way, he attacks... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
...catches wind of the gold rush and settles there to trade furs with the miners. White Fang sees white men for the first time and considers them to be "a race of... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Yet White Fang lays waste on the white men's dogs, fighting and killing these weak and ill-adapted animals... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
...name of Beauty Smith. Nature was not kind to him in looks, or in life. White Fang instinctually distrusts this "monstrosity." (full context)
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Beauty Smith wants to buy White Fang , but Gray Beaver refuses to sell him. Beauty circumvents Gray Beaver's refusal by offering... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
Gray Beaver ties a leather thong around White Fang's neck and hands him over to Beauty Smith, who beats White Fang severely with his... (full context)
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
White Fang feels like he still belongs to Gray Beaver, so he escapes from Beauty and returns... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Beauty Smith chains White Fang in a pen and torments him with his maniacal laughter, inciting the dog's anger and... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Under his abusive care, White Fang transforms into professional fighting dog. While men wager on White Fang's fights, Beauty takes pleasure... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 4
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
The bulldog, Cherokee, and White Fang are released into the ring, but regard each other nervously and with confusion. Neither one... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
Seeing White Fang's eyes glaze over, Beauty Smith goes into the ring and begins kicking the animal, while... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Nature v. Nurture Theme Icon
...face and yells at the crowd, calling them "beasts" and "cowards." Scott attempts to pry White Fang and the bulldog apart, but finds that it is nearly impossible. He enlists the help... (full context)
Mastery Theme Icon
Though Beauty resists selling White Fang , Scott intimidates him into forfeiting his ownership rights and buys the dog for one... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 5
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Domestication Theme Icon
Scott and Matt watch a chained White Fang "bristling" and "snarling" at their sled dogs. Scott believes it is "hopeless" to train White... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Matt brings out a piece of meat for White Fang . Scott's dog, Major, leaps for it, but White Fang strikes him down, killing the... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
The incident shows Scott that White Fang is still untamed, so he takes out his revolver and prepares to shoot the dog.... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Scott approaches White Fang , talking to him in a smooth and gentle voice. But White Fang grows suspicious... (full context)
The Struggle for Survival Theme Icon
Domestic Yearnings v. Natural Instinct Theme Icon
Mastery Theme Icon
Matt gets his rifle to shoot White Fang , but Scott defends the dog, saying that "it served [him] right." Matt and Scott... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 6
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A day later, Scott approaches White Fang , who expects a punishment for having bitten this "god." Even though White Fang growls... (full context)
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Scott reaches out his hand to pet White Fang . Battling with his natural instincts, White Fang bristles and snarls at his master's touch,... (full context)
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Under Scott's care, White Fang's fondness for his master slowly transforms into love. He regards him as "love-master." His adoration... (full context)
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In the late spring, Scott leaves on a trip, without warning White Fang . He worries over his master's disappearance. The days come and go, but Scott does... (full context)
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Scott reads a letter in Circle City from Matt, telling him that White Fang is suffering away from his master's care. Scott returns and White Fang greets him warmly,... (full context)
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One night Matt and Scott hear a cry and snarl from outside. They discover that White Fang has taken down an intruder. It is Beauty Smith. He came with a club and... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 1
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White Fang senses change in the air. Matt believes that White Fang has caught on to Scott's... (full context)
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When White Fang sees his master's bags packed, he howls throughout the night, just as he did over... (full context)
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Scott is about to board the steamboat when White Fang appears on deck. Scott notices that there are cuts on his muzzle. Matt realizes that... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 2
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Scott and White Fang arrive in San Francisco. The "towering buildings" and rush of cable cars, automobiles, and carriages... (full context)
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White Fang is separated from Scott briefly when he's loaded into a train's baggage car. Tossed among... (full context)
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...a man and a woman greet Scott. The woman wraps her arms around Scott, but White Fang regards this as a "hostile act" and nearly attacks the woman, who turns out to... (full context)
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Trailing Scott's carriage, White Fang arrives at the Scott family estate. Suddenly, an aggressive female sheep dog, Collie, blocks White... (full context)
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Arriving to greet Scott's carriage at the house, White Fang is knocked down by a deer-hound, Dick. Incensed, White Fang, prepares to attack, but Collie... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 3
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White Fang gradually adapts to life at the Scott house, learning to respect Scott's family, instead of... (full context)
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White Fang quickly learns that the laws of hunting and foraging in the Southland are different from... (full context)
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Two nights later, White Fang raids the chicken house, killing fifty chickens. The next morning, Scott finds the carcasses laid... (full context)
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From this punishment, White Fang learns to stay away from chickens, but Judge Scott holds that "you can never cure... (full context)
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White Fang spends hours in the chicken yard, but doesn't touch a chicken. Scott wins the wager,... (full context)
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Man's "multiplicity of laws" confuses White Fang , but he steadily learns man's ways. He learns that he can hunt jackrabbits, but... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 4
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The months go by. Although White Fang misses the Northland, he prospers under the sunshine and abundance of the Southland and Scott's... (full context)
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White Fang learns to laugh by romping and roughhousing with his master. After each tussle, Scott embraces... (full context)
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White Fang also learns how to bark. While riding in the pasture one day, Scott's horse stumbles... (full context)
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White Fang's second winter in the Southland arrives. He notices a change in Collie. She is more... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 5
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Every night, Alice secretly lets White Fang sleep in the house and then lets him back out before the family wakes in... (full context)
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The Scott family calls a surgeon to save White Fang . The surgeon pronounces that his chances for survival are one in one thousand, but... (full context)
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While White Fang recovers, he dreams about his life, from the time he was a pup, hunting in... (full context)
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White Fang's bandages are removed. The Scott family dubs him the "Blessed Wolf." Weakly, he walks outside... (full context)