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Themes

From the moment he's born, White Fang faces death. It waits around every corner for him and could claim him at any moment. Seriously stressful business, right? It's just as bad for everybody else who, as London quietly points out, are going to die sooner or later anyway. In White Fang, the goal is to avoid dying for as long as possible, kind of like a cosmic game of dodge ball. You gotta keep ducking and diving, even though you know you're going to lose.

Questions About Death

  1. Is death an extension of the wild? If it is, then what is its purpose? Is it trying to make sure we all fight hard for life?
  2. How do the men in the story try to deny or avoid death?
  3. In what ways does death enter into the Scott's estate in California? Are they less aware of it than they might be in the Yukon?
  4. How is White Fang an agent of death? Can that ability be used for good as well as evil? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Death is less prevalent in the California chapters of the novel, but only because men are less aware of it.

Death is the real antagonist of the novel, since it's the one foe that no character can conquer.

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