White Fang

by

Jack London

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The Oblong Box/ Coffin

The "long and narrow oblong box" that Bill and Henry tow across the Klondike is the coffin that carries the remains of Lord Alfred, an aristocrat who died on the trail. His coffin symbolizes death… read analysis of The Oblong Box/ Coffin

Light

As a pup, White Fang first encounters light at the entrance of the cave, where he is born. He perceives light as a permeable wall by which his father, One Eye, enters and exits… read analysis of Light

Water

White Fang nearly drowns while swimming in a stream, so water comes to signify death and the unknown. read analysis of Water

The Law of Meat

Meat symbolizes life and hunger. From an early age, White Fang recognizes the role of meat in life: it sustains life by relieving the potentially fatal pangs of hunger and famine. To eat is to… read analysis of The Law of Meat

The Porcupine

The porcupine represents chance and opportunity. When One Eye hunts in the wild he sees a Lynx attempting to poach a porcupine. The lynx pounces, piercing himself on the spiny creature's quills. One Eye takes… read analysis of The Porcupine

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The Hawk

As a pup, White Fang observes a hawk swoop down and kill a mother ptarmigan, (a small chicken-like bird that resides in the arctic). White Fang learns that hunting is a perilous venture, but also… read analysis of The Hawk

The Yellow Weasel

The weasel is another symbol of death and nature's law. The weasel almost kills the young White Fang by biting into his jugular, a major blood artery, that if severed would result in instant death… read analysis of The Yellow Weasel

Fire

White Fang is impressed by man's ability to make fire. As a man-made source of light and warmth, it represents man's "mastery over matter," both live and lifeless things. As such, as it stands a… read analysis of Fire

Laughter

As a pup, the Indians laugh at White Fang for showing signs of weakness, or stupidity, like yelping, or burning his nose on the fire. Beauty Smith also laughs at White Fang maniacally to incite… read analysis of Laughter

White Fang and the Wild

The wild symbolizes the fear of the unknown. An unpredictable and perilous place, domesticated dogs often cringe in fear from the wilderness. They similarly cower from White Fang, who is closely associated with the… read analysis of White Fang and the Wild

The Call

The call is a wild force that beckons White Fang and Kiche to return to nature. Because they ultimately disregard the call, it represents a tempting, but unheeded urging to return to the wild. Instead… read analysis of The Call

The Club

The club is a symbol of violence, discipline, and obedience. Throughout the novel, humans use the violent power of the club to make their animals submissive and obedient. Gray Beaver clubs White Fang when he's… read analysis of The Club

Man's Hand

All of White Fang's owners use their hands to strike White Fang in order to correct his behavior. White Fang comes to regard man's hand as an instrument of hurt, punishment, danger, cunning, and mastery… read analysis of Man's Hand

The Stick and Leather Thong

The stick and leather thong represent dogs' bondage to their human masters. Throughout the novel, humans use the stick and leather thong to prevent their animals from escaping into the wild. Bill and Henry bind… read analysis of The Stick and Leather Thong

The Chain

Used to constrain White Fang, like the stick and leather thong, the chain is a symbol of man's mastery and ownership over canines. read analysis of The Chain

Barks, Growls, and Howls

White Fang expresses his feelings through barks, growls, and howls. Though White Fang often snarls at his humans and animals adversaries, he develops a low and steady growl to show affection towards Scott and… read analysis of Barks, Growls, and Howls

The Northland

The Northland refers to the Canadian Klondike and the cold and harsh conditions of life in this region. It is associated with nature's merciless ways and the wilderness. read analysis of The Northland

The Southland

The Southland refers to California and the warm and comfortable conditions of life in this region. It is associated with civilization, domesticity, and the laws of man and society. read analysis of The Southland

Pups

Pups symbolize parenthood and new life. read analysis of Pups