Book Notes Part 2, Chapter 5: The Law of Meat Notes from White Fang

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White Fang Part 2, Chapter 5: The Law of Meat

Two days later, the cub leaves the cave again. He is learning to be cautious in his hunting, except when he knows he can overcome his opponent. Every day, his need to find meat is growing stronger. He respects his mother, who always brings home meat.

Famine comes again, however, and his mother spends most of her time looking for meat. His mother finally returns with food, a lynx kitten. He does not know how desperate she is to steal the lynx's children. After he eats it and is sleeping, he hears his mother snarling terribly, and at the mouth of the cave sees the lynx crouching. She gives a cry of rage.

Because the cave ceiling is so low, the lynx cannot leap. When she rushes towards the she-wolf, the wolf pins her down. They wrangle on the floor viciously. The cub tries to help by sinking his teeth into the lynx's hind leg, but he soon looses his grip. The two mothers separate, but before they rush together again the lynx slashes at the cub with her paw. His shoulder is cut to the bone, and he is flung to the wall.

Finally, the lynx is killed. But the she-wolf is sick and very weak. For a week she doesn't leave the cave, but by the time the lynx is all eaten she is able to hunt again. The cub begins to go with his mother on her hunts, and he learns the law of the meat.

"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." Part 2, Chapter 5, pg. 65

Topic Tracking: Environment 4

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