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White Fang | Quotes


The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness.

Narrator, Part 1, Chapter 1

White Fang is born into the wild. To survive such hostile and violent surroundings, both men and animals must be strong, cunning, and adaptable.


Growth is life, and life is forever destined to make for light.

Narrator, Part 2, Chapter 7

Innate in every living thing is the desire to explore and grow. In the cave, White Fang embodies this desire when he continually feels drawn toward the light despite his mother's warnings.


The aim of life was meat ... The law was: EAT OR BE EATEN.

Narrator, Part 2, Chapter 8

The main rule of life in the wild is eat or be eaten. All creatures must fight for survival, with only the strongest surviving.


They were fire-makers! They were gods!

Narrator, Part 3, Chapter 9

White Fang is awed when he sees man creating fire from inanimate objects, and he views them as gods. For this reason, White Fang submits to the humans' rules and expectations even though he could easily overpower them.


For behind any wish of [man's] was power to enforce that wish, power that hurt.

Narrator, Part 3, Chapter 10

When White Fang misbehaves, both Gray Beaver and Beauty Smith beat him into submission. This is another way man displays his dominance.


His development was in the direction of power.

Narrator, Part 3, Chapter 11

Although separated from his mother and treated poorly by his masters, White Fang continues to grow and mature, honing skills of survival that make him the fiercest, most feared member of the pack.


His heredity was ... likened to clay. It possessed many possibilities, was capable of being molded into many different forms.

Narrator, Part 3, Chapter 14

This quotation calls into question whether a being's personality is formed by genetics or environment. White Fang's behavior changes drastically based on his environment and the desires of his current master.


The basic life that was in [White Fang] took charge of him. The will to exist of his body surged over him.

Narrator, Part 4, Chapter 18

During the nearly fatal dogfight with Cherokee, White Fang feels a surge of life, similar to what Henry felt in Chapter 3, knowing death is just around the corner. The desire to overcome death is one of the characteristics of survival.


I agree with you, Mr. Scott. That dog's too intelligent to kill.

Matt, Part 4, Chapter 19

Even though White Fang attacks and injures both Weedon Scott and Matt, they decide to save him because of his intelligence. They know it will be possible to domesticate and tame him because he is smart enough to adapt and, therefore, deserving of a second chance.


The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.

Narrator, Part 5, Chapter 24

Although White Fang has been completely domesticated by the Scott family, London reminds the reader that the instincts of the wild wolf still linger inside; they are merely sleeping.


The hands of society are harsh, and this man was a striking sample of its handiwork. He was a beast.

Narrator, Part 5, Chapter 25

Jim Hall is the convict who tries to harm the Weedon family. Like White Fang at the hands of Beauty Smith, Hall's violent actions are shaped by his environment.

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