White Fang


Part 1: Chapter 1 to Chapter 3

Part One: Chapter One

The novel opens with a group of sled dogs pulling a coffin across in a frozen landscape in the Northland. There are two sled drivers with the sled, Bill and Henry. The men are taking Lord Alfred, the man in the coffin, back to civilization. As night falls, the men hear howling and realize that they are being hunted by a wolf pack. They build a fire, which keeps the wolves at bay. Sitting around the fire, Bill tells Henry that he noticed another dog when he was feeding the dogs. They discuss the seventh dog, and the fact that it is clearly part of the wolf pack. They also talk about the fact that their ammunition is dwindling. When they fall asleep, the wolves begin to approach. The dogs wake the men up, and Bill feeds the fire, which helps drive the wolves away. However, Bill notices that the seventh dog has returned. The next morning, there are only five dogs. The men figure out that one of the dogs ran away and was then eaten by the wolf pack. The men cannot understand why the dog, named Fatty, would have run off to be eaten by the wolves.

This first chapter establishes the setting for the novel. It is the harsh Northland, where men are both predators and prey. Food is scarce—in fact, there is a famine, and this famine is encouraging the wolves to hunt both dogs and humans. The chapter also introduces the reader to the cunning of the wolves. Clearly, a wolf is coming into the men’s camp to get some of the dogs’ food. At this point, one does not know what else the wolf may or may not be doing, but it clearly manages to steal food from the men. What is interesting is that the men can clearly tell the dogs apart from one another; after all, they recognize that the missing dog is Fatty. However, when Bill feeds the additional dog, he does not seem to be able to tell the dogs apart and recognize the interloping dog.

Part One: Chapter Two

Chapter two opens at the end of the next day. Bill spots the extra dog and chases it away, but does not get a good look at the dog....

Sign up to continue reading Part 1: Chapter 1 to Chapter 3 >

Essays About White Fang