White Fang


Significant Quotations

White Fang is known for its quotations that make observations about animal behavior that are equally applicable to human behavior.

Quotation One: It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.

This quotation is found in Part 1, chapter 1, and describes how the wild is indifferent to life. It sets the stage for the novel, and the hostility that the characters, including White Fang, will encounter in the wild. It also helps establish the neutrality of the wild. While it may laugh at the effort of life, it does so without any malice. This helps prepare the reader for the idea that life for White Fang will be a struggle as long as he is in the wild.

Quotation Two: I reckon you’ve called the turn, Bill. That wolf’s a dog, an’ it’s eaten fish many’s the time from the hand of man.

This quotation is found in Part I, chapter 2. It is when the men first realize that the she-wolf is a dog. The fact that Kiche is part dog is significant, as that is how White Fang comes to live in the Indian village and among men. It also helps explain the fluidity of savagery. After all, Kiche is able to be a loyal and obedient dog for Grey Beaver, yet is also capable of luring other dogs to their deaths and even eating a human during a famine.

Quotation Three: She was thrilling to a desire that urged her to go forward, to be in closer to that fire, to be squabbling with the dogs, and to be avoiding and dodging the stumbling feet of men.

When Kiche and One Eye pass close to the human village in Part II, chapter 1, she wants to rejoin them. She knows that she will find some security in the Indian village, which does not exist in the wild. However, she is also instinctually drawn to the wild, and when One Eye, who would not be welcome in the village, urges to continue moving forward, she does so.


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