Symbolism in White Fang
"Classic" - a word misunderstood by many people around the world, mostly those of a younger generation. It is surprising how many people believe that the word "classic" means "old" or "boring". This is just not the case. In actual fact, the label "classic" given to books means "of the highest quality," or "of enduring interest and value." Books with this label are the best there is. Every word is carefully thought out and made interesting for the reader. Symbolism, meaning and detail are all applied effectively to keep the book an on-going page-turner. Such a fine example of this is Jack London’s White Fang.
A very wonderful tool to an author is the use of symbols within a story. One of the more common symbols throughout short stories and novels ultimately refers to the bible and religious history. In most, if not all stories have the relationship between good and evil – heaven and hell. Whether implied or not by Jack London, White Fang is full of many interesting biblical symbols. The character Beauty Smith, for instance very simply put symbolizes Satan. This man, this creature so vile as to subdue yet another victim (White Fang) into his ever-growing underground slavery prison camps. The greed for money and profit is the only need for this "prison camp"; the dog-fighting gambling is their prison cell. A comparison between the bulldog Cherokee and death itself can be made. Once death has you, there is no way of escaping. When Cherokee had White Fang gripped between his jaws, "There was no escaping that grip. It was like Fate itself, and was inexorable," (London 139). Surely enough, God (Weedon Scott) came along and saved White Fang from the grips of evil. The cold-heartedness of evil can be overcome with the heat and light of good. The care and kindness of such like Weedon Scott for all existing creatures alike. Many other symbols deep within this novel lay rest assured, but it is hard to catch them all in such a detailed book as this.
With a closer inspection and a deep analysis of a novel, many small but nonetheless important meaningful things can be revealed. London has managed to intricately design a perfect novel full of deep meaning and symbols that can only be done in a short story. But a novel, with so many pages and pages of detailed work, it is so hard to keep up with all the things that lay undiscovered within.