Wednesday, October 27, 2010

White Fang by Jack London

White Fang by Jack London is the story of a sled dog named White Fang, who lived in the Arctic North. When White Fang was born, he was taken care by his mother, who was a wolf (his father was a dog so White Fang was half wolf half dog), and began learning about the world around him in several hunting experiences. Still early in his puppy-hood, White Fang was separated from his mother and was forced to be a sled dog. Because of constant bullying from a fellow dog named Lip-Lip, White Fang became very aloof and secluded, and vicious too. His master did not help this as he often beat him. White Fang grew up to be the nimblest dog any man ever saw; his amazing strength and speed made him an excellent fighter. Still early in his life, White Fang's first master sold him to a man named Beauty Smith. Smith was extremely cruel to White Fang as he would beat him and taunt him relentlessly. He kept White Fang in a cage, unless he was making White Fang fight, and allowed him to be constantly taunted turning White Fang into an extremely vicious dog. With his excellency in fighting, White Fang won almost all of his fights. He won all fights except one. It was his last. White Fang was caught by the neck by a bull dog who was slowly closing his grip to reach White Fang's vein. Just before life left White Fang, a mysterious man ran into the fight and broke it up. He condemned all the men present as "Beasts" and he took White Fang from Beauty Smith. This man, Scott, went about patiently soothing the emotional wounds White Fang had received in the past. White Fang became very close to Scott because Scott gave him something he had never experienced in his entire life: Love. Scott took White Fang down south to America and White Fang lived out the rest of his life very happily on a farm.

Questions
1. I think everyone would agree that forcing dogs to fight is wrong, but would you consider it wrong if a dog is punished by a beating after it has done something wrong on it's sled team? If so, is there a punishment more suitable? Explain.

2. White Fang was transformed by the patience of Scott. How hard do you think it is to respect any human after a lifetime of overly cruel abuse? Do you think you could bring yourself to do so?

8 comments:

Josie D 7/8 said...

1. It is wrong to punish the dog for making a mistake on the sled team. A better way to handle the issue is to never punish, but rather reward for good behavior.
2. It would be difficult to respect a human after so many years of mistreatment.It would make you suspicious of any human's intentions. I would hope I could bring myself to trust, but I really would not know.

Sarah N. 7-8 said...

I think that I would personally be reluctant to trust people after a life of cruelty. As Josie said "it makes you suspicious of any human's intentions." Scott showed White Fang love for the first time. Before that I assume he though people were all mean and that is how they love. It makes one question humans intentions when they show love, because all they have ever known is cruelty.

Millie W. 7/8 said...

1)No I wouldn't punish it for the exact reason the book showed. Dogs become cruel and vicious if their punished physically and can become dangerous to humans, and other animals alike. Most times such dogs have to be put down. For my dog to teach him not to do something we use a strict tone with him, and when he does something right we give him a treat. Earlier when he was a puppy we would squirt him with a squirt bottle when he did something wrong since he hates water so much.

2)I don't think it would be easy to trust a human, especially after all the things they had done. Personally I wouldn't be able to trust them, only the rare few that earned my trust, and even then your wary.

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

Millie,
I would have to agree with you as far as more appropriate methods of disciplining dogs. There are much more subtle ways to tell them that they have done something wrong. Many experts say that a dog has a natural desire to please their master and knowing that they displeased him/her is more than enough of a punishment (even without physical abuse).

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

Sarah,
White Fang was indeed confused when he was shown kindness for the first time from Scott. In his suspicion, he would try to attack Scott, but Scott was persevering, and eventually, White Fang came to trust him. That's not something I believe I could do. I think animals are different in that sense. They are more trusting in all circumstances then humans (I believe).

AnaleeL7-8 said...

No matter what the sled dogs did i do not believe they should have been punished. These types of dogs are meant to be wild it is in their nature to attack the way white fang was treated is not right.

Hannah J. 7-8 said...

no, i do not believe the dog should be punished. i think the dog should have been trained better. beating a dog is considered animal abuse and i do not think it is right.
i would think it is very hard to overcome a lifetime of fear. i might be able to do so after some time and patience.

Adam B. 7-8 said...

I don't think it is right to beat a dog for doing something wrong. They don't know any better because they do these things out of instinct not by teaching and training. I think that there are less severe and less cruel ways to disipline a dog than with a beating.