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Characters

Weedon Scott

Character Analysis

White Fang's the hero of the story, but Weedon is easily the most heroic character. If London wants to show us civilization at its best and worst, then Scott is absolutely the best. He's brave, he's take-charge, he doesn't compromise when it comes to right and wrong, and he follows through on his convictions no matter where they lead. He's pretty much a knight in shining denim, here to rescue White Fang from the monstrous excesses of his fellow white men and take him to the land of milk and honey where belly rubs are cheap and plentiful.

The Good Guy

London is very careful to hammer home the fact that Weedon embodies civilization at its best. The guy doesn't ignore his passions and impulses, but he keeps them under tight control. He knows how to rein in his wild side. When White Fang is dying in the ring, Scott "was in a rage himself—a sane rage" (18.25). He also doesn't waver when a task needs doing. So when Tim threatens him, Scott "never desisted from his effort." (18.4).

Most importantly, he shows compassion and mercy to those in need, specifically White Fang, who literally views him as "The Love-Master," which is not—thankfully—as dirty as it sounds. He is, in short, the sort of person London wants us to be: the kind what can not only tame a wilderness, but do something with it beside bulldoze it for tract homes. What we mean here is that Scott understands nature—he recognizes creatures' impulses to survive by any means necessary. But he also knows that, if you try a little tenderness, you can control those impulses and get in touch with your warm fuzzies.

The Good Dog?

So if Weedon is supposed to be everything that's awesome about humankind and civilization, what can we make of the fact that London describes Scott as a but of an Alpha Dog? He's someone who demands respect and obedience from his fellow men: "He's in with all the big bugs. If you want to keep out of trouble, you'll steer clear of him, that's my talk. He's all hunky with the officials. The Gold Commissioner's a special pal of his" (18.86).

Call Shmoop crazy, but we think it's London's way of saying that the natural order always asserts itself—even in civilization. We may be moral and upright, but we still have a streak of the Wild in our DNA, and the best we can do is to keep it tightly under wraps.

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