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Free Study Guide-White Fang by Jack London-Free Online Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

PART IV

Chapter 2

Summary

A small number of white men, who call themselves Sour-doughs, live in Fort Yukon. They make their bread with sourdough starter, instead of baking powder or yeast. These men enjoy the sight of the newcomers' dogs being mangled to death by White Fang and the other dogs. One man in particular, Beauty Smith, enjoys the fighting. He works for the people at the fort and has his eye on White Fang. He offers to buy White Fang from Gray Beaver, who is at first not willing. Beauty Smith then tempts Gray Beaver with liquor until he is addicted. Gray Beaver is then willing to sell White Fang for a few bottles of whiskey.

Gray Beaver hands White Fang over to Beauty, but he escapes three times from captivity and returns to Gray Beaver, only to be betrayed and returned each time. Upon his return, he is beaten by Beauty for his disobedience. Finally, Gray Beaver, sober and bankrupt, leaves for the Mackenzie River, and White Fang cannot follow since he is tied with a chain. After one especially severe beating from Beauty, White Fang falls sick.

Notes

The Sour-doughs take a sick pleasure in seeing the dogs fight to the death. One of the men, Beauty Smith, squeals with delight and leaps in the air with excitement whenever a dog goes down shrieking its death cry. He is totally disgusting, the exact opposite of his name. His evil mind leads him to procure White Fang through treachery. He gets Gray Beaver addicted to alcohol and buys White Fang for the price of a few bottles of whiskey.



Constantly drunk, Gray Beaver loses all that he has earned from his fur trading. He does not even interfere when Beauty Smith beats White Fang. White Fang's loyalty and faithfulness, however, cause him to escape from Beauty and return to Gray Beaver on three occasions. Fearing Beauty, Gray Beaver always returns White Fang to his new owner, who beats him for his disobedience. It is a pathetic situation from which White Fang can no longer escape, since he is tied with chain. Even when Gray Beaver finally leaves for home, White Fang is powerless to follow him.

Chapter 3

Summary

White Fang is kept chained in a pen at the rear of the Fort, where Beauty provokes him and laughs at him, hoping to make White Fang even meaner. He is often removed from the pen and made to fight other dogs, including mastiffs, wolves, and huskies. White Fang invariably wins, no matter what kind of dog he faces. Sometimes he has to fight three dogs at once or a freshly caught wolf from the Wild. White Fang's constant victories make him a public figure. He is known as "the Fighting wolf," and he is on exhibit in his cage all the time.

Beauty Smith begins to make money at White Fang's expense. Whenever a fight is arranged, bets are taken. To make certain that White Fang wins, Beauty trains him in the wild. He releases him a few miles from town, usually at night to avoid police interference, and he must fight for survival. Back in captivity, White Fang is forced to fight wolves that have been trapped by Indians, for he has defeated all the available dogs. One time he fights a full-grown female lynx and defeats her.

Notes

White Fang is kept chained in a pen, and Beauty Smith torments him and laughs at him to make him even more aggressive. More ferocious than ever, White Fang begins to hate every living thing, especially Beauty Smith. He bites, snaps, and snarls constantly at his owner.

During the staged dogfights, White Fang releases his frustrations. No other animal, including wild wolves and lynx, can stand up against his hatred. He defeats everything he fights, even when Beauty pits him against three dogs at once. His upbringing in the wild and his fights with Lip-lip have trained him well. His reputation as "the Fighting Wolf" makes White Fang's life miserable. He is constantly on public view and being prepared for another battle by Beauty Smith, who profits greatly from this great wolf-dog.

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