Literature Study GuidesWhite FangPart 5 Chapter 24 Summary

White Fang | Study Guide

Jack London

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Course Hero. (2017, May 11). White Fang Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved October 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/White-Fang/

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Course Hero. "White Fang Study Guide." May 11, 2017. Accessed October 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/White-Fang/.

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Course Hero, "White Fang Study Guide," May 11, 2017, accessed October 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/White-Fang/.

White Fang | Part 5, Chapter 24 : The Tame (The Call of Kind) | Summary

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Summary

As time passes, White Fang fully adjusts to life on the farm: "Human kindness was like a sun shining upon him, and he flourished like a flower planted in good soil." Although White Fang loves his life on the farm, he has no way of showing his appreciation other than the occasional snuggles he shares with his master. One afternoon, while Weedon rides on horseback, the horse spooks and throws Weedon off, injuring him. White Fang barks, for the first time ever, in surprise. Weedon urges White Fang to return to the house for help, which White Fang does. For some time, the family doesn't understand White Fang's strange behavior until he produces another unprecedented bark. Weedon's wife immediately recognizes that something is wrong and hurries to find help. Weedon returns home relatively unscathed.

At the same time, the rest of the animals continue to ignore White Fang, save for Collie, who maintains her barrage of torment. One afternoon, however, she treats White Fang playfully, nipping and encouraging him to chase after her. Despite his feelings of distrust, White Fang runs after her "as his mother, Kiche, and old One Eye had run long years before in the silent Northland forest."

Analysis

One of the reasons White Fang has survived as long as he has is his ability to adapt to new surroundings. The saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" proves untrue when White Fang learns to bark. Previously, his mode of communication was the rare howl, which symbolized his primal connection to nature. In domesticity, White Fang must find a new way to communicate, so he barks like a dog, a language he knows humans will understand. Whereas White Fang previously only used his learned skills to help himself, he barks to save Weedon, highlighting his full transition into a companion animal.

Even though White Fang has become domesticated, he still serves his instincts, mating with Collie rather than running with Weedon: "The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept." When domesticity and companionship fuel White Fang's actions, he no longer relies on violence to survive. His desire to mate parallels the male wolves in Chapter 4 who, after feasting on the moose, allow themselves to partake in the mating ritual. For White Fang, the decision to mate with Collie highlights his own acceptance of survival.

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