White Fang Social Sensitivity

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London often freely adapted ideas from Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx to his own ends. In part 4 of White Fang, for example, London suggests that "compared with the Indians he had known," the white men were "a race of superior gods." Throughout, London insists upon the godlike quality of all humans in the eyes of White Fang.

London's attitude concerning Native Americans and white men, and especially his ideas about natural and social superiority, should be confronted directly. His depiction of Native Americans is much more of a Victorian stereotype than an actual view of contemporary Eskimos.

London's environmental determinism permeates this story. While his Darwinian assumptions may not be shared by all readers, his dramatization of those concepts in White Fang should provoke thoughtful discussion. The questions raised by this book may be controversial. How much does environment determine character? Does civilization really improve life...

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This section contains 167 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the White Fang Study Guide
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White Fang from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.