White Fang


Jack London

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White Fang: Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

After two days, the cub ventures out of the cave and kills the weasel's pup. His ambition to hunt grows, as do his hunting skills. He hunts for play, but a famine forces him to take his hunting more seriously. He ambitiously waits in a clearing, daring the hawk to swoop down for a fight, but it keeps circling in the sky above.
The young White Fang is surrounded by the prospect of death. Hunger threatens to take his life, as does the hawk that circles in the air above him. Surrounded by death, White Fang must fight for his life by hunting and being a bold and courageous animal.
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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 the entrance of the cave and attacks the she-wolf.
Violence marks parenthood and the struggle for survival. The she-wolf kills so that her pup can eat, while the lynx intends to murder to avenge her kitten's death.
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The cub comes to his mother's aid, biting into the lynx's leg. Together, they kill the lynx and devour her. The cub learns the law of meat: "EAT OR BE EATEN." Having become a skilled hunter and killer, he feels "very much alive."
The struggle for survival is underwritten by a simple rule: "eat, or be eaten." To eat is to live; to live is to eat. To strive for life, White Fang and his mother must kill and eat the lynx.
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