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White Fang
White Fang
by Jack London
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White Fang Part 3 Summary

The Makers of Fire

  • One day, the cub runs into the scariest animal of all: man. Specifically, a quintet of Native Americans. He finds himself both scared and hypnotized by them.
  • One of the men leans down to pet him and he bites the hand. He gets a whack with a club for his troubles.
  • Mom shows up to save him, but one of the Native Americans calls out "Kiche!" and she responds with joy. His name is Grey Beaver, and Kiche was his brother's dog-wolf before she ran away.
  • Grey Beaver names the pup White Fang, then another Native American rolls him over and rubs his belly. He's rendered powerless by the belly rub, like all living, breathing things.
  • They go back to the Native American camp, where White Fang runs into a larger dog named Lip-lip.
  • And… fight.
  • Lip-lip bites at a spot previously injured by the lynx. White Fang Hulks out on him, but Lip-lip still carries the day. 
  • White Fang soon heads out on another adventure: watching Grey Beaver build a fire. He touches the flame and immediately learns why nobody ever touches the flame.
  • He crawls back to his mother and sleeps, homesick for the cave.

The Bondage

  • White Fang grows up in the Native American camp, learning how both just and cruel his new man-gods can be.
  • He submits to his masters, though Lip-lip continues to give him grief.
  • About that… the constant bullying from the other dog makes White Fang nasty, sneaky and generally hard to be around.
  • White Fang finally gets his revenge by luring Lip-lip into close range of Kiche, who is still tied up. Mom messes the bully up. As moms do. 
  • Lip-lip escapes, injured, and White Fang harshes him further when he tries to howl.
  • Grey Beaver eventually lets Kiche run free, and White Fang never leaves his mother's side. 
  • They both hear the call of the wild, but don't respond to it. 
  • Another Native American in the camp, Three Eagles, takes Kiche away to sell her. White Fang tries to follow the canoe and gets beaten for his troubles. 
  • While rowing back to camp, Grey Beaver nudges White Fang aside with his foot. White Fang bites. The beatings continue; morale does not improve.
  • When the savaged White Fang returns to camp, Lip-lip jumps him. Grey Beaver beats Lip-lip and drives him away. 
  • White Fang follows Grey Beaver to his tee-pee. When he howls to mourn his mother, Grey Beaver beats him. 
  • White Fang stays in the village, hoping his mother will return. Grey Beaver treats him tolerably and feeds him meat. As if that somehow makes the rampant animal abuse okay.

The Outcast

  • White Fang, constantly pushed by Lip-lip, becomes meaner and nastier than he should be.
  • He soon finds himself the outcast, playing bespectacled nerd to Lip-lip's captain of the football team.
  • But he fights back, learning the art of wolf ninjutsu and sneaking up on his foes before they can jump him. He steals meat this way, too.
  • One night, he kills another dog out in the woods. The tribe cries for vengeance, but Grey Beaver says "no." (This dude is all over the map.)
  • A strange dynamic develops: the rest of the dogs band together against White Fang. When he catches one alone, he pounds them. All other times, they pound him.
  • Like any bullied kid, he gets mean. Really mean. If he'd done anything else, he would have died.

The Trail of the Gods

  • The Native Americans strike their camp in the fall and White Fang sees his chance to return to the wild. (Or the Wild, as London puts it.)
  • He runs away. Grey Beaver and his family look for him but eventually give up.
  • White Fang soon realizes that he's grown soft; he can't survive in the Wild the way he used to. 
  • He sits in the spot where Grey Beaver's teepee used to stand and give the loneliest wolf howl of all time.
  • He follows the Native American camp along the river. He's strong and smart and doesn't give up. Mama would be proud. 
  • He finds Grey Beaver's camp and enters, expecting another round of beatings. Instead, Grey Beaver gives him meat. He's now Grey Beaver's… by choice.

The Covenant

  • In the winter, Grey Beaver and his family take a sledding trip. Grey Beaver's son Mit-sah gets his old sled drawn by puppies, including White Fang.
  • Mit-sah puts Lip-lip at the head of the team. It's supposedly an honor, but Mit-sah doesn't like Lip-lip and the spot gives the other dogs a chance to beat up on him.
  • White Fang, on the other hand, is quite the teacher's pet. He hates the other dogs, which makes him more of a man-lover than they. Even so, he's completely indifferent to Grey Beaver. Because, you know, beatings.
  • They arrive at a village and White Fang eats meat chips falling from boy cutting up a moose. The boy tries to beat him and White Fang bites him. 
  • Grey Beaver defends White Fang, and he and his family are persecuted.
  • White Fang stands up for Mit-sah when the other boys torment him. Grey Beaver likes the cut of his jib and rewards him with meat.
  • White Fang learns that guarding man and his property earns him rewards. That's a big deal for White Fang. London calls it "the covenant between dog and man." (13.24)

The Famine

  • White Fang and Grey Beaver's family return to the village in the spring. It's good to be home. Plus, White Fang is now big and scary.
  • An old dog named Baseek, who used to bully White Fang, tries to take a bone from him. White Fang, who would have wilted like a flower before winter, now puts the smackdown on the older dog.
  • In the summer, he runs into Kiche with a litter of puppies. He's happy to see her, but she doesn't recognize him. She has a new family now, and the older, skunkier model just doesn't fit into her plans. He takes a beating from her, and lets himself get driven away.
  • He lives his life, fairly bitter but not totally miserable. 
  • When he's three years old, a famine comes to the Native Americans. Old folks die, dogs kill each other and only the strong survive. Luckily, White Fang is in the latter category.
  • He hunts squirrels to stay alive. Then mice. Then rabbits from Grey Beaver's traps. Then another wolf. It's pretty hard-core.
  • He's chased by a wolf pack, but turns the tables on them and kills one of their own.
  • He finds himself back at his old stomping grounds: the cave where he grew up. Kiche is there, with a dying litter of cubs. She chases White Fang away and he's content to go.
  • Finally, he meets Lip-lip out in the forest. And… fight. This time, White Fang kills Lip-lip with extreme prejudice (or at least as much prejudice as a half-tamed wolf dog can muster.)
  • Soon thereafter, he returns to the Native American village. The famine has passed and Grey Beaver's wife Kloo-kooch gives him a fresh fish.
Next Page: Part 4
Previous Page: Part 2

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