Literature Study GuidesWhite FangPart 4 Chapter 19 Summary

White Fang | Study Guide

Jack London

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Course Hero. (2017, May 11). White Fang Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 21, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/White-Fang/

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Course Hero. "White Fang Study Guide." May 11, 2017. Accessed September 21, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/White-Fang/.

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Course Hero, "White Fang Study Guide," May 11, 2017, accessed September 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/White-Fang/.

White Fang | Part 4, Chapter 19 : The Superior Gods (The Indomitable) | Summary

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Summary

Weedon Scott does what he can to heal White Fang's wounds. He and his friend, Matt, a dog-musher, go back and forth between wanting to tame White Fang and fearing that it would be impossible. They notice marks on White Fang's chest and realize he had once been a sled dog, which means he had been domesticated. They bring White Fang near their other dogs during feeding time, and White Fang reverts to his old habits of stealing meat from the other dogs and attacking anyone who comes near him. He kills Major, one of Weedon's other dogs, to everyone's dismay. When White Fang bites Matt's leg, they dismiss the domestication project as hopeless, and Weedon goes inside to retrieve his gun. Matt objects to killing White Fang, saying, "That dog's been through hell. You can't expect 'm to come out a white an' shinin' angel. Give 'm time." Newly inspired, Weedon spends the next hours talking softly to White Fang and caressing him. White Fang distrusts the "new god's" touch, assuming an imminent beating, so he snaps and bites Weedon. Although angered by the bite, Weedon refuses to have White Fang killed.

Analysis

After saving White Fang from Beauty Smith, Matt and Weedon debate whether the wolf can be tamed or whether he should be put down. Weedon questions their decision after White Fang bites Matt's leg, but Matt understands the laws of nature better than Weedon. He recognizes that White Fang was abiding by the rule "Eat or be eaten." Later, Matt questions whether White Fang should live or die after he bites Weedon, but Weedon sees White Fang's recognition of danger and deems him "too intelligent to kill."

Living with Weedon signals a turning point for White Fang. Strong parallels are created between the she-wolf and Weedon, both of whom form White Fang's character through love. Yet, White Fang has survived too much abuse to trust Weedon immediately. He distrusts Weedon's hand, for example, because it was a weapon of abuse from Gray Beaver and Beauty Smith. At the same time, White Fang seems amazed that Weedon would trust him off the chain. He could "scarcely realize that he was free." This act highlights how even though Gray Beaver and Beauty Smith "mastered" White Fang, they never trusted him to stay.

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