Parenthood begins and ends White Fang. The she-wolf, Kiche, and One Eye mate to become the parents of White Fang, while White Fang becomes a father in his own right when he has a litter of pups with Collie. Pups signal birth and new life, but mating and parenthood in White Fang are also closely associated with ferocity and violence. One Eye kills his rivals to mate with Kiche, while Kiche, out of an inborn distrust of the father of her pups, snarls at One Eye to protect her pups. She later attacks White Fang to defend her new litter. Meanwhile, One Eye must hunt and kill game to feed his family, but meets a violent end at the paws of the lynx, who feeds on him in order to defend her own kittens. Kiche makes a similarly violent sacrifice for the sake of her pups. She kills the lynx's kittens to feed White Fang. This act comes with a violent consequence. The lynx attacks White Fang and his mother. They, in turn, kill the mother lynx, highlighting that the price of new life can come at a violent cost to the parent and child, alike. But such violent parenthood is justified in London's Northland, because it is used to defend the next generation's survival.
Parenthood in the domesticated world of California is different. Collie snarls at White Fang after she gives birth to pups just as Kiche does after White Fang is born, but White Fang proves such fears of his wildness unwarranted when he plays with and nuzzles with his pups. Parenthood in California centers around love rather than survival. In having pups, White Fang cements his lineage in the domesticated world. In treating his pups with love, he ensures that his own pups won't experience the kind of cruelty and alienation from other dogs that made him wild. White Fang's loving actions begin the process of passing down the tradition of domesticity to his pups.
Mating and Parenthood ThemeTracker
Mating and Parenthood Quotes in White Fang
In [the she-wolf's] instinct, which was the experience of all the mothers of wolves, there lurked a memory of fathers that had eaten their newborn progeny. It manifested itself as a fear strong within her, that made her prevent One Eye from more closely inspecting the cubs he had fathered.