English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  











During the transition between the 19th and 20th centuries, literature writers took a turn from
romanticism and moved towards realism. New forms of writing emerged, Modernism, Imagism and
Naturalism. Especially popular in the United States, Naturalist writers wrote about the true side
of nature and man's insignificance when juxtaposed to it. However one author saw things from
another point of view, instead of being the human, he portrayed the life of a wolf in its nearly
inhospitable conditions and compared it to mans struggle in life. No novel writer exibited this
more than Jack London. Of all his novels, White Fang displayed this uncommon theme in its most
perfect form.

One form of proof is his use of human traits with the wolves. London starts to turn the common
misconception of the wolf and her pup as merciless killers and more into caring mother and child
situation. This then causes the reader to start rooting for the wolves instead of the humans who
seem to be oblivious to the single mother struggle of the animals. He also inserts human
intelligence in to the wolves, for instance when the pack sets up a trap for the travelers dogs and
devour one of the travelers and a dog. He consistently uses the theme of motherly instinct to
protect ones child throughout the story.

Varying a little from the topic above, Jack streches a little futher and uses manipulation and lack
of loyalty to accent the good points of the human thought process. Displaying the worst side of the
human mind and how it functions in society and still maintaining sympathy for the animals who appear
during the story. The she-wolf splits off from the pack with her pup and uses the humans for their
own self-preservation, similar to the dog in the story To Build a Fire . The two are separated from
each other when White Fang is captured and mother is sold to an Indian named Gray Beaver.

Jack even exercises his ability to infuse the childish tendencies that occur to most people while
immersed in their adolecense. Behaviors such as bullying are utilized, for example when White Fang
is bullied by the other dogs that Gray Beaver owns. Perseverance is also apparent as the two strive
to survive in their ever changing world. Finally idea of settling down comes in to playwhen White
Fang is tamed by his savior, Scott, and moves to California with him. He then has puppies with
Scott's other dog and proceeds to live a happy life.

In short, Jack London mirrors the trials and tribulations of both man and beast in this classic
novel and changes the views of his readers in profound ways with his originality of plot.