Literature Study GuidesWhite FangPart 2 Chapter 6 Summary

White Fang | Study Guide

Jack London

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White Fang | Part 2, Chapter 6 : Born of the Wild (The Gray Cub) | Summary



One of the cubs, a gray male, stands out from the rest as being particularly fierce and strong: "He was ... the fiercest of the litter." When the cub is first born, he cannot see so it must rely on his other senses to explore the world. A light at the mouth of cave draws the pup near, but his mother always nudges him back into the safety of the dark: "The light drew [the cubs] as if they were plants; the chemistry of the life that composed them demanded the light as a necessity of being."


From the beginning of his life, the gray wolf is characterized as the fittest of the litter, leaving the reader with little doubt that he will survive. Just like his mother, the gray wolf's mind swirls with instinctual thoughts that guide his behavior: "Logic and physics were no part of his mental make-up." He feels drawn toward the light at the mouth of the cave, a symbol of life, and must learn lessons about pain and boundaries to stay safe. His mother keeps him safely inside the cave, perhaps instinctually understanding his vulnerability. The outside world is hostile, particularly during a famine.

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