by Jack London
White Fang Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph) Shmoop has numbered the chapters continuously, but the book renumbers them in each Part.
But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses of space. (1.4)
Like we said, London doesn't beat around the bush. The two sledders are tiny things in the eyes of Nature. Sure, they're defiant and bold, but they're also easily transformed into Purina Wolf Chow if they aren't careful. Early on, we humans are put in our place and reminded that the world is big and scary—even for a big scary wolf like White Fang.
It still regarded them with the merciless wistfulness of hunger. They were meat, and it was hungry. (2.105)
Yeah, Kiche really isn't a tame dog. She's a creature of nature, and her urges are those of the natural world. Of course we'll find out later that she's lived among humans for a while. But hey, maybe that was just her survival instinct at work?
They were running over the surface of a world frozen and dead. No life stirred. They alone moved through the vast inertness. (4.8)
We shift to the wolves, but London says the same thing about them as he did about them men: they're tiny little bugs scuttling across a world that could crush them flat. In that sense, they're equals with man. They may even be a little above men, since they're better equipped to survive on their own, without chamber pots and electricity.