December 2009

Jack London, "White Fang"

White Fang is an interesting oddity in this day and age, when Jack London's outlook on what "wilderness" means has been almost completely superseded by more reasonable (and liberal) concepts.  London's relationship with the wild was frequently adversarial, an outlook which reaches its peak in White Fang.

White Fang opens with a violent prelude to the title character's birth.  A starving pack of wolves and wolf-hybrids stalks, kills, and devours two men and their team of sled dogs.  One of the females, a wolf-dog hybrid, takes a wolf as a mate and splits off from the pack.  Times are still tough, and only one pup from the litter survives, as the rest starve to death.  Meanwhile, her mate is killed by a lynx.