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Free Study Guide-White Fang by Jack London-Free Online Book Notes
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PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS

London has neatly divided the book into five parts. Part I, consisting of three chapters, gives an introduction to the unexplored land of Northland Wild through the perspective of two human characters, Bill and Henry. It clearly sets the mood for the entire novel. It also introduces the pack of wolves who inhabit this area and whose story is later elaborated upon in Part II. The she- wolf, her mates, and their experiences form Part II. The cub, who later grows up to be White Fang, also makes an entrance here, commencing the rising action. His experiences in the wild and his physical and mental growth are recounted in detail.

In Part III, the rising action continues as White Fang meets his man-masters, the makers of fire, with whom he has to spend a considerable amount of time. White Fang undergoes famines and journeys and other hardships which contribute to his personality.



In Part IV, the story takes a turn, with the historical setting of the gold rush. White Fang is introduced to the white gods, and he encounters Beauty Smith, under whom he is trained for dogfights. The first four chapters are devoted to these dog-fights and Smith's brutal treatment of White Fang.

Towards the end of IV, Weedon Scott enters and remains until the end of the book. In chapter six, the climax occurs, when White Fang finally overcomes his fear and distrust and allows Scott to pet him.

In Part V, which is largely falling action, Scott takes White Fang along with him to his home in California, where the wolf-dog must learn a new set of laws. He learns quickly and also ingratiates himself to the family by saving the life of Judge Scott. The conclusion occurs at the end of the book when White Fang is nursed back to health after his fight with Jim Hall and becomes the father of Collie's puppies, giving the novel a happy ending.

Because of the episodic nature of the novel, the geographical setting varies greatly. Part I and Part II are set in the Northland Wild, largely in the brutally cold and snowy winter. Part III shifts to the Indian camp and a time of more temperate weather. Part IV takes the reader to Fort Yukon, and Part V is basically in California. In spite of these shifting settings, the constancy of theme and character and the intensely developed plot hold the novel together.

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