IMAGERY IN WHITE FANG

Dark spruce forest frowned on either side of the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but a laughter more terrible than any sadness. A laughter that was mirthless as the smile of a Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost, and partaking the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild. (ch.1; pg. 105)

He kept the fire brightly blazing, for he knew that it alone intervened between the flesh of his body and their hungry fangs. His two dogs stayed close by him, one on either side, leaning against him for protection, crying and whimpering, and at times snarling desperately when a wolf approached a little closer than usual. At such moments, when his dog snarled, the whole circle would be agitated, the wolves coming to their feet and pressing tentatively forward, a chorus of snarls and eager yelps rising about him. Then the circle would lie down again, and here and there a wolf would resume its broken nap. (ch.3; pg. 124)

Breakfast eaten and the slim camp outfit lashed to the sled, the men turned their backs on the cheery fire and launched out into the darkness. At once began to rise the cries that were fiercely sad--cries that called through the darkness and cold to one another and answered back. Conversation ceased.  Daylight came at nine o'clock. At midday the sky to the south warmed to rose color, and marked where the bulge of the earth intervened between the meridian sun and the northern world. But the rose color swiftly faded. The gray the light of day that remained lasted until three o'clock, when it, too, faded, and the pall of the Arctic night descended upon the lone and silent land. (ch. 2; pg. 112)

Once, the cub sprang in and sank his teeth in to the hind leg of the lynx. He clung on, growling savagely. Though he did not know it, by the weight of his body he clogged the action of the leg and thereby saved his mother from much damage. A change in the battle crushed him under both their bodies and wrenched loose his hold. The next moment the two mothers separated, and, before they rushed together again, the lynx lashed out at the cub with a huge fore-paw that ripped his shoulder open to the bone and sent him hurtling sidewise against the wall. Then was added to the uproar the cub's shrill yelp of pain and fright. But the fight lasted so long that he had time to cry himself out and to experience a second of burst of courage; and the end of the battle found him again clinging to a hind leg and furiously growling between his teeth. (ch. 8; pg. 165)

The man has been given the grief, often, of seeing his gods overthrown and his altars crumbling; but to the wolf and the wild dog that have come in to crouch at man's feet, this grief has never come. Unlike man, whose gods are of the unseen and the over guessed, vapors and mists of fancy eluding the garmenture of reality, wandering wraiths of desired goodness and power, intangible outcroppings of self into the realm of spirit--unlike man, the wolf and the wild dog that have come into their fire find their gods in the living flesh, solid to the touch, occupying earth-space and requiring them for the accomplishment of their ends and their existence. No effort of faith is necessary to believe in such god; no effort of will can possibly induce belief in such god. There is no getting away from it. There it stands, on its two hind legs, club in hand, immensely potential, passionate and wrathful and loving, god and mystery and power all wrapped up and around by flesh that bleeds when it is torn and that his good to eat like any flesh. (ch. 10; pg. 177-178)

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

quality 🐘

2 years ago
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The first passage had a lot of strong imagery. Good job :-)

2 years ago
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😄 I like the photos you used and how your passages are very detailed.

2 years ago
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2 years ago
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Good job!

2 years ago
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The fire one was nice.

2 years ago
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verry good job😘😘