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White fang

Two of Jack London's most famous stories were The Call of

the Wild and White Fang. Though they are completely unrelated

stories they have many similarities that I found unique. Along

with many similarities in the plot there were many similarities

in the characters, human and animal, which make these two stories

the topic of this paper. "Jack London was both an outdoors-man

and a writer and that combination was what made his novels so

realistic."(Walcutt 124). Jack London born on January 12, 1876

finished his second novel, The Call of the Wild, in 1904 that was

his most famous novel. Two years later he finished another of his

most famous novels White Fang. His inspiration for these novels

came from the time he spent up in the Klondike that became the

basis for these two novels. Till the day of his death, from a

long battle with throat cancer, these were the two most famous

novels he had written.

The Call of the Wild was Jack London's most famous

novel,"This is the novel that separated London from all writers

of that era."(Brooks 35) Written in 1904 it was a story about a

dog who was brought into Klondike to pull sleds during the gold

rush. The name Call of the Wild comes from the natural instinct

that animals have to be free in nature. The main characters in

this story are Buck the four- year-old half Saint Bernard and

half-Scottish shepherd, John Thorton and the Scottish half-

breed. Buck was stolen from his home in California during the

gold-rush in the Klondike. Dogs were a necessity and considering

the size of Buck he had the makings of a great sled-dog. Buck,

being thrown into a totally different environment, encounters

such problems such as, how to stay warm by burrowing into the

snow to sleep, how to survive the lack of daily meals, and how to

rely on his native and natural instincts. Buck soon becomes one

of the most dominant dogs on the sled team. After living like a

wild, independent animal for weeks upon weeks he soon learns to

fend for himself. He becomes more familiar with killing animals

for food and the primordial beast inside him begins to take over.

He is no longer a domesticated animal but a wild dog. He soon

becomes the leader of his pack of sled-dogs by beating the former

leader, Spitz in a fight. Buck became such a popular sled-dog in

the Klondike that he was admired by all. That is when The

Scottish half-breed bought him and used Buck for many endurance

and strength contests. This over work almost killed the dog. Buck

was saved from this inhumane treatment by a man named John

Thorton whom he grew to love. Through complete devotion buck

risked his life for John but did not succeed because John was

killed. After this with having no more attachments Buck went to

live with a pack of wolves. Buck was no longer a pet but a wild


White Fang was Jack London's next novel once again was

inspired by his life in the Klondike and the relationship between

man and beast. This Novel main characters are White Fang who is

three-quarters gray wolf and one-quarter dog this is who story

revolves, Mit-sah and Gray Beaver the Indians who were

responsible for training White Fang and Weedon Scott who

develops a special relationship with White Fang. The story is set

in the Klondike during the gold rush and revolves around the sled

dogs and how they are lured by the female wolves in the wild and

killed. One occasion the sled dog mated with the female wolf and

White fang was born. The mother wolf and her cub(White Fang)

wander into an Indian camp where White Fang was taken and raised

by Mit-sah and Grey Beaver. White Fang was learning to be

domesticated and became a great pet for the Indians. Grey

Beaver, who was addicted to alcohol, then traded White Fang to an

evil man named Beauty Smith. Smith would use White fang to win

money by entering him in fights. He almost killed the dog until a

young man named Weedon Scott stepped in and took White Fang away

for the fighting and the cruel treatments he was getting. When

Weedon first took the dog, White Fang was a mean, vicious animal

but the two soon began to bond and White Fang was starting to

turn back into a domesticated animal. The story ends with White

Fang going back to California with Weedon and becoming a

domesticated pet.

These two novels are similar in many ways."The way London

develops these animals with anthropomorphic characteristic makes

him one of the most creative writers of his time."(Foner 69)

Antropomorphic means attributing human qualities to an animal,

and this is seen in both novels.London did switch the beginning

and outcome of the two animals this is seen by Buck going from a

domesticated animal to a wild beast and White Fang went from a

wild animal to a domesticated pet. Not only are the settings

similar but the time period and the major concern during that

time period were the same, the gold-rush. The ways the story

unfolded were also similar. Both animals started their lives out

in a very normal fashion but then they were brought into a

different environment and forced to change. The introduction of

characters was also similar the way they were led through life

not knowing what there purpose was until they met their final

character and then figured out what they had to do. For with Fang

it was to be with Weedon and be a pet, for Buck it was to go out

and live with the wolves and be a wild animal. The main and final

similarity was the relationship between man and beast. White Fang

learned to understand humans and decided that it was his goal in

life to be one with them. Buck learned that his purpose in life

was to be a wild animal and be as far away from humans as


Jack London wrote these two novels with the basis of trying

to compare the differences of domesticated and wild animals put

into different situations with humans. His main point in these

two novels is to express that animals can be changed trough the

interference of human contact. Sometimes humans can domesticate a

wild animal so they are at one together but sometimes they can

take a domesticated animal and put then in a situation where they

have no choice but to be wild to survive.



A. Thesis

B. Introduction

II. The Call of the Wild

A. Characters

1. Buck

2. John Throton

3. A scotch half-breed

B. Plot

III.White Fang

A. Characters

1. White Fang

2. Mit-sah and Grey Beaver

3. Weedon Scott

B. Plot

IV. Similarities

A. Opposite Plots

B. Man vs. Human

V. Conclusion

Source: Essay UK -

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