Literature Study GuidesWhite FangPart 5 Chapter 23 Summary

White Fang | Study Guide

Jack London

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White Fang | Part 5, Chapter 23 : The Tame (The God's Domain) | Summary



As always, White Fang adapts to his new surroundings, quickly classifying the family, pets, and other farm animals as his master's belongings and, therefore, worthy of protection. Collie bullies White Fang on the farm, relying on her instinct of fear, much as White Fang himself did in the wild: "Woven into her being was the memory of countless crimes [wolves] had perpetuated against her ancestry." White Fang doesn't let anyone's behavior—Collie's or even Weedon's two small children—bother him. He lives to serve Weedon and the rest of the family. The farm occasionally confuses White Fang, who considers his master's land "wide and complex." He thinks he's found a source of free food, for example, but is chastised for killing chickens in the coop and leaving their bodies out by Weedon's door. To prove to his doubtful family that White Fang won't destroy their poultry farm, Weedon locks White Fang in the chicken coop all night, warning him not to touch anything. A few hours later, White Fang emerges, bored, without having harmed a single feather on the lazy chickens.


Just as with the Indian camp and the dogfighting cage, White Fang must learn the rules of his new environment. He must learn to suppress his natural instincts to fight and kill—whether humans, weaker dogs, or domesticated animals—if he wants to "survive" life on the farm. As always, he demonstrates his superior intelligence by quickly learning the rules and meeting and exceeding his new master's expectations, such as with the chicken coop. Because White Fang feels love for Weedon in much the same way he felt love for his mother, violence isn't needed to redirect his behavior. White Fang wants to learn, so a disappointed tone from Weedon redirects him just as a club did in Beauty Smith's hands. The difference is that Gray Beaver and Beauty Smith forced White Fang to change, whereas White Fang chooses to change for Weedon. It is interesting to note that when White Fang kills all the chickens, he deposits them by Weedon's door. The killings are for sport, similar to the way he killed prospectors' dogs in the Yukon, but he chooses to honor his master with the bodies. This demonstrates White Fang's devotion to Weedon even though the act is unwelcome.

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