Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Book Review of White Fang by Jack London
Author: Jack London
Publisher: Wordsworth Classics
Type of book: 1890s-1900s, civilization vs. wild, nature vs. nurture, wolf, dog hero, young adult, isolation, bullying, lack of kindness, Alaska, California, laws
Year it was published: 1905
White Fang is Jack London's celebrated companion story to The Call of the Wild. Once again, the author chooses a dog as his hero and the story chronicles the triumph of goodness and love over a loyal spirit once brutalised by violent circumstances and a harsh environment.
The main character is White Fang, although there are other characters such as Scott and his family, as well as other dogs and wolves. The only character that goes through change is White Fang, other characters are static characters and don't go through any change. Despite only one character going through the change, it is an interesting story and is well deserved of being read by everyone.
Change is possible.
The book is told in third person narrative, primarily from White Fang's point of view. The story starts perhaps a year or so before White Fang's birth with the she-wolf named Kiche and another wolf. It chronicles their lives together then it moves on to birth of the puppies then to White Fang's education of the wild, as well as his capture by Native Americans, his education there and towards the end we see the kindnesses and how they began to change him, which makes this a very remarkable novel.
January 12, 1876 in San Francisco, California, The United States
November 22, 1916
Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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About this author
Jack London was an American novelist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers. Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.
London draws heavily on his life experiences in his writing. He spent time in the Klondike during the Gold Rush and at various times was an oyster pirate, a seaman, a sealer, and a hobo. His first work was published in 1898. From there he went on to write such American classics as Call of the Wild, Sea Wolf, and White Fang.
Although I found it boring in some parts, I really liked the storytelling and lessons it imparts on people, as well as giving hopes to those who are hoping for a change, it will be possible. I would have liked if more time could have been devoted to White Fang changing, but instead more is devoted to explaining how he got the way he did. This is also a reverse situation than that of Call of the Wild. In Call of the Wild, you have a dog, Buck, torn from civilization and learning the harshness of life in Alaska, while in White Fang, you have a dog torn from harshness of Alaska and thrust into civilization. The fact that White Fang ended up living with a judge, would mean a full circle of sorts.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)