White Fang Summary

The story narrates the life of White Fang, a half dog and half wolf. The story begins with White Fang’s mother surviving a famine. This slowly transcends to his birth. He survives and soon encounters men in an Indian village. There, a white man, Beauty Smith, proceeds to own him. Next, he becomes a fighting dog and but finally he leaves the ring. In the end, he is adopted by Scott to live happily ever after.

The story is set in the frozen North. Two men and their dogs run to McGurry while carrying the dead body of a man named Lord Alfred who froze to death. A pack of wolves tail them to hunt them down. During camping at night, the dogs seem to be more defensive and Bill notices it while giving out extra food. The next morning, one of their dogs, Fatty goes missing and it is believed that the wolves have eaten her. The next day, another of their dogs, Frog goes missing. They move on further to McGurry. At nightfall, they tie the dogs with leather and stick but end up losing another one named Spanker. Apparently, an almost dog-looking wolf is fooling the dogs and eating them since the wolves are desperate for food. They try shooting the disguised wolf but fail to do so.

The wolves take no more dogs and they start off. The sled turns upside down and One Ear breaks loose mislead by a she-wolf. Bill is annoyed and goes ahead with a gun to save One Ear. Soon, gunshots are heard and Henry realizes that the wolves have taken both Bill and One Ear. He escapes from the place and starts a fire, which protects him from the wolves that lurk around him. He then puts the coffin in a tree and moves forward. He sets camp once again with a pile of woods and dozes off to sleep now and then only to wake up to a wolf very close to him. When the she-wolf closes in, he throws a heap of burning firewood at her. Next morning, when the wolves close in, he surrounds himself with fire and waits for death but is saved by other men.

The story then shifts to the scenario of the wolf pack. The she-wolf first picks up the threat of humans attacking them. She makes a sign for retreat and instantly, an elder wolf and a pack leader assists her in escaping along with a three-years old wolf. They usually split to fight and make love but famine kept them together which is soon over after they come across a moose weighing 800 pounds. The pack splits until the she-wolf along with her saviors are left. The elder one-eyed wolf kills the other two. They then set off to find something that the she wolf had been looking for. She finally finds it, her litter of wolf pups in a burrow deep in the forest. The one-eyed wolf brings in food for the pups, a porcupine to feed on.

Among the pups, one of them stands out from the others. It feeds on more milk and regurgitated food from his mother. He notices that his father can go in and out of the cave through a passage of light but he cannot. Soon, the famine breaks out once again. His brothers and sisters starve to death while his father dies in a fight with a lynx. Ever since, his mother leaves him in the burrow to look for food. He musters up courage and makes a move to go out of the lair despite knowing that it would not be wise. He tumbles down a slanted height, kills a ptarmigan chick, escapes from the mother and an eagle, falls downstream and is saved by his mother right before a weasel attack. Since then, they hunt together and once, they killed a lynx and its kittens.

The young wolf soon stumbles upon an Indian village where he sees the acts of men and marvels at it. When the men approach to pet him, he shows them his teeth and they name him White fang. Soon after, he bites one of men and they hit him hard. When his mother comes to see what has happened, she is reunited with her owner, Gray Beaver, who recognizes her as a mixed breed. He keeps both White Fang and his mother. White Fang soon faces his enemy Lip-lip. He loses to the dog and burns his nose. Soon, his mother is sold to Three Eagles and he starts spending his days in agony among dogs and men.

Soon, the village leaves for the fall hunts and White Fang refuses to go. He hides in the woods but soon, he feels lonely. So, he goes back to the village and finds no one. He catches up with Grey Beaver near the Mackenzie River and agrees to be his sledge dog. Mit-zah, Kloo-kooch and Grey Beaver travel somewhere and tie him up to a sledge along with other dogs. The leader, Lip-lip is soon hated for being kept ahead of others. They favor White Fang but he chooses to tread alone. He soon learns to protect his master’s property. White Fang grows comparatively bigger after a year and is marveled at by other dogs. He soon sees his mother with a new litter and a fierce reciprocation occurs. He leaves one day, kills Lip-lip, and meets his mother.

White Fang grows up to be more and more fierce as the days go by. Grey Beaver calls him the fiercest of all dogs he has ever seen. He is put in front of the sledge. He is taken to Fort Yukon since the gold rush has brought a great change in economy. Grey Beaver brings furs and mittens for trade there. White Fang meets his first white men in life, a race far superior than the Indians. A man, by the name of Beauty Smith, tries to buy White Fang from Gray Beaver to which he refuses. He is soon brought a bottle of whiskey and he ends up spending all his money on it. Soon, he ends up giving away White Fang up after turning broke. White Fang becomes a fighting dog. He kills a lynx and faces a bulldog.

The bulldog White Fang faces is called Cherokee. They leer at each other and soon, the bulldog aggressively proceeds. White Fang swiftly moves and digs his teeth deep into its neck. Born with a thick meat suit, Cherokee barely feels anything and bites White Fang’s throat, refusing to let go. Soon, Matt and Scott, two men come to the dying White Fang’s rescue. They separate the two dogs. When they first try to tame White Fang after buying him from Beauty, he rips open Scott’s leg and Matt’s hand. After being threatened by a gun and by letting some time pass before opening up to Scott, White Fang is finally tamed. White Fang soon adapts to guarding Scott’s house and working on the sledge. With time, he develops to like the softness of Scott’s nature. One day, White Fang attacks his foe when Beauty tries to steal him.

Soon, the time comes when Scott has to prepare to leave his home for California. White Fang is heartbroken at Scott’s departure. They lock him up when Scott leaves. Just when Scott starts the steamboat, White Fang leaps onto the boat. He decides to take him along too. When they reach San Francisco, White Fang is awestruck at the bustles of the city. Fearful and confused, he sticks with his master and gets on a car. When the car door opens, they reach a countryside house where he is hugged by two more people and then faces a sheep dog attacking him. Since it is a she-dog, White Fang avoids her but is soon compelled to attack her to get past the herd. Then, a deerhound that he almost has to take down attacks him.

White Fang soon adapts to the lifestyle of his master. He learns to respect the people in the house. He learns that he has to tolerate Collie and defend himself from the deerhound although it is very scared of White Fang already. Soon after, White Fang starts killing chickens but Scott waits till he is caught red-handed. One night, White Fang is caught killing fifty chickens. Scott locks him up. His father challenges Scott that he will end up killing chickens despite the scolding. White Fang proves his father wrong. He learns to bark and becomes friends with Collie, the dog. One day, when Scott falls from a horse, White Fang barks for help. He even kills an escaped convict even while being shot. He is treated and survives to have pups with Collie.