White Fang Study Guide

White Fang

White Fang by Jack London

White Fang is the story of the titular wilderness-born wolf-dog's road to domestication and the process of his bonding with Weedon Scott, a man who saves him from a succession of cruel owners. White Fang, told in part from the animal's perspective, is a story of the intense cruelty of both nature and the human world. It ruminates on dog-fighting, animal abuse, and the real love that can grow between owners and their pets.

Critics have identified many underlying themes in the novel. Tom Feller describes the story as "an allegory of humanity’s progression from nature to civilization." He also expresses that "the [story's] implication is that the metamorphosis of both the individual and society will require violence at some point." Paul Deane states that "[in the novel,] society demands a conformity that undermines individualism."London himself took influence from Herbert Spencer's words: "survival of the fittest", as well as Friedrich Nietzsche's idea of a "superman" (or "superdog", in this instance) and of "the worship of power".

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