Since then it continues to enjoy immense acclaim and popularity as a coming of age allegory where a nonconformist youngster is transformed into a responsible citizen.
The most appealing aspect of White Fang is that it’s told from the point of view of an animal, in this case an Alaskan Husky. Like Black Beauty by Anna Sewell,
White Fang also addresses ethical issues, social injustices and cruelty to our four footed friends. Set in the harsh environment of Canada’s Yukon territory, White Fang tells the gripping tale of a young half breed pup, born of a wild mother who is herself half dog, half wolf.
The bloody battles for survival among the denizens of this frozen land are wonderfully depicted. As a pup, White Fang and his mother, One-Eye, survive vicious attacks by other wolves and a vengeful lynx whose kittens were killed by One-Eye. Once, while roaming close to a Native Indian encampment,
One-Eye is recognized by Grey Beaver, a young hunter whose dead brother had tamed her many years ago. Grey Beaver adopts the young pup and names him White Fang.
At the encampment, White Fang is a misfit among the dogs and pups reared there.
He turns into a vicious, resentful, aggressive and solitary rebel. Lip-lip, the leader of the dog pack relentlessly bullies and torments White Fang. Finally, Grey Beaver trades White Fang to a dog fighter,
where his combative nature leads him to a successful but hazardous career. In the midst of a savage fight, White Fang is nearly killed, but a young prospector Weedon Scott intervenes.
The rest of this exciting novel traces White Fang’s move to sunny California and his interesting adventures there. The story, though it has an animal as the hero, is reputedly based on Jack London’s own colorful life and career. As a front runner in establishing the cult of fiction written for commercial magazines, London also led an eventful life as a journalist, social activist and passionate advocate of human rights. He traveled round the world as a hobo on steamships and schooners and even joined the Klondike Gold Rush where he found rich material for his writings. White Fang is a riveting, poignant and very dramatic story that, along with its unforgettable hero, will appeal to readers of all ages.