'White Fang' Quotes

White Fang by Jack London
 Courtesy of Amazon 

White Fang is one of the most well-known works by Jack London, an American author. He's famous for his works set in the wild—where Nature plays a prominent role in the never-ending struggle for survival. White Fang The story takes place in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th-century. Here are a few quotes from the book.

White Fang Quotes

  • "On the sled, in the box, lay a third man whose toil was over,—a man whom the Wild had conquered and beaten down until he would never move nor struggle again. It is not the way of the Wild to like movement. Life is an offense to it, for life is movement; and the Wild aims always to destroy movement." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 1, Ch. 1
  • "I reckon you've called the turn, Bill. That wolf's a dog, an' it's eaten fish many's the time from the hand of man." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 1, Ch. 2
  • "[His body] fascinated him, and he grew suddenly fond of this subtle flesh of his that worked so beautifully and smoothly and delicately. Then he would cast a glance of fear at the wolf-circle drawn expectantly about him, and like a blow the realization would strike him that this wonderful body of his, this living flesh, was no more than so much meat, a quest of ravenous animals, to be torn and slashed by their hungry fangs, to be sustenance to them as the moose and the rabbit had often been sustenance to him." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 1, Ch. 3
  • "She was made glad in vague ways by the battle, for this was the love-making of the Wild, the sex-tragedy of the natural world that was tragedy only to those that died. To those that survived it was not tragedy, but realization and achievement." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 1
  • "She was thrilling to a desire that urged her to go forward, to be in closer to that fire, to be squabbling with the dogs, and to be avoiding and dodging the stumbling feet of men." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 1
  • "Of her own experience she had no memory of the thing happening; but in her instinct, which was the experience of all mothers of wolves, there lurked a memory of fathers that had eaten their new-born and helpless progeny." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 2
  • "He was always striving to attain it. The life that was so swiftly expanding within him, urged him continually toward the wall of light. The life that was within him knew that it was the one way out, the way he was predestined to tread." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 3
  • "But the Wild is the Wild, and motherhood is motherhood, at all times fiercely protective whether in the Wild or out of it; and the time was to come when the she-wolf, for her gray cub's sake, would venture the left fork, and the lair in the rocks, and the lynx's wrath." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 3
  • "Thus it was that in obedience to the law laid down by his mother, and in obedience to the law of that unknown and nameless thing, fear, he kept away from the mouth of the cave." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 4
  • "But there were other forces at work in the cub, the greatest of which was growth. Instinct and law demanded of him obedience. But growth demanded disobedience...In the end, one day, fear and obedience were swept away by the rush of life, and the cub straddled and sprawled toward the entrance." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 4
  • "His conclusion was that things were not always what they appeared to be. The cub's fear of the unknown was an inherited distrust, and it had now been strengthened by experience. Thenceforth, in the nature of things, he would possess an abiding distrust of appearances." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 4
  • "The aim of life was meat. Life itself was meat. Life lived on life. There were the eaters and the eaten. The law was: EAT OR BE EATEN. He did not formulate the law in clear, set terms and moralize about it. He did not even think the law; he merely lived the law without thinking about it at all." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 2, Chapter 5
  • "In dim ways he recognized in man the animal that had fought itself to primacy over the other animals of the Wild. Not alone out of his own eyes, but out of the eyes of all his ancestors was the cub now looking upon man." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 1
  • "It was the worst hurt he had ever known." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 1
  • "They were firemakers! They were gods!" - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 1
  • "But it did not all happen in a day, this giving over of himself, body and soul, to the man-animals. He could not immediately forego his wild heritage and his memories of the Wild. There were days when he crept to the edge of the forest and stood and listened to something calling him far and away." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 2
  • "It was during this period that he might have hearkened to the memories of the lair and the stream and run back to the Wild. But the memory of his mother held him...So he remained in his bondage waiting for her." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 2
  • "Out of this pack-persecution he learned two important things: how to take care of himself in a mass-fight against him; and how, on a single dog, to inflict the greatest amount of damage in the briefest space of time." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 3
  • "He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with ironlike muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survived the hostile environment in which he found himself." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 3
  • "His bondage had softened him. Irresponsibility had weakened him. He had forgotten how to shift for himself. The night yawned about him." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 4
  • "White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 5
  • "White Fang was glad to acknowledge his lordship, but it was lordship based upon superior intelligence and brute strength." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 5
  • "There were deeps in his nature which had never been sounded. A kind word, a caressing touch of the hand, on the part of Gray Beaver, might have sounded these deeps; but Gray Beaver did not caress nor speak kind words. It was not his way." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 5
  • "Food and fire, protection and companionship, were some of the things he received from the god. In return, he guarded the god's property, defended his body, worked for him, and obeyed him." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 5
  • "This was a female of his kind, and it was a law of his kind that the males must not fight the females. He did not know anything about this law, for it was no generalization of the mind, not a something acquired by experience in the world. He knew it as a secret prompting, as an urge of instinct - of the same instinct that made him howl at the moon and starts of nights and that made him fear death and the unknown." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 3, Chapter 6
  • "One cannot violate the promptings of one's nature without having that nature recoil upon itself." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 1
  • "Every urge of his being impelled him to spring upon the pack that cried at his heels, but it was the will of the gods that this should not be; and behind the will, to enforce it, was the whip of caribou-gut with its biting thirty-foot lash." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 1
  • "Much of the Wild had been lost, so that to them the Wild was the unknown, the terrible, the ever menacing and ever warring. But to him, in appearance and action and impulse, still clung the Wild." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 1
  • "And so, fresh from the soft southern world, these dogs, trotting down the gang-plank and out upon the Yukon shore, had but to see White Fang to experience the irresistible impulse to rush upon him and destroy him. They might be town-reared dogs, but the instinctive fear of the Wild was theirs just the same." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 1
  • "In short, Beauty Smith was a monstrosity, and the blame of it lay elsewhere. He was not responsible. The clay of him had been moulded in the making." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 2
  • "They were his environment, these men, and they were moulding the clay of him into a more ferocious thing than had been intended by Nature. Nevertheless, Nature had given him plasticity. Where many another animal would have died or had its spirit broken, he adjusted himself and lived, and at no expense of the spirit." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 3
  • "The bulldog's method was to hold what he had, and when opportunity favored to work in for more. Opportunity favored when White Fang remained quiet. When White Fang struggled, Cherokee was content merely to hold on." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 4
  • "He did not want to bite the hand, and he endured the peril of it until his instinct surged up in him, mastering him with its insatiable yearning for life." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 5
  • "The hand descended. Nearer and nearer it came. It touched the ends of his upstanding hair. He shrank down under it. It followed down after him, pressing more closely against him. Shrinking, almost shivering. He still managed to hold himself together. It was a torment, this hand that touched him and violated his instinct. He could not forget in a day all the evil that had been wrought him at the hands of men." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 4, Chapter 6
  • "This expression of abandon and surrender, of absolute trust, he reserved for the master alone." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 5, Chapter 3
  • "The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 5, Chapter 4
  • "He was a ferocious man. He had been ill-made in the making. He had not been born right, and he had not been helped any by the moulding he had received at the hands of society. The hands of society are harsh, and this man was a striking sample of its handiwork. He was a beast." - Jack London, White Fang, Part 5, Chapter 5
Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Lombardi, Esther. "'White Fang' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Jan. 23, 2018, thoughtco.com/white-fang-quotes-741899. Lombardi, Esther. (2018, January 23). 'White Fang' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/white-fang-quotes-741899 Lombardi, Esther. "'White Fang' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/white-fang-quotes-741899 (accessed February 20, 2018).