Analysis Of To Build A Fire By Jack London

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In the short story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, the protagonist foremost values his pride, which leads to his demise. The story starts off with the protagonist taking a detour in the Yukon so that he could survey the trees in the area (he was doing this so that he could send logs down the river to the gold prospecting camp, where he would sell the wood to the prospectors for money). But, the protagonist’s pride blinds him from what could have and should have done to ensure his survival in the Yukon. About halfway through his journey, he accidentally breaks through the ice on the spring and his foot falls into the water. At the temperatures mentioned in the story (seventy below zero), if he did not dry himself properly, it could lead to serious frostbite and/or death. So, he was forced to build a fire, and the “fire was a success. He was safe. He remembered the advice of the old timer on Sulphur Creek, and smiled. The old-timer had been very serious in laying down that no man must travel alone in the Klondike after fifty below. Well, here he was; he had had an accident: he was alone; and he had saved himself. Those old-timers were rather womanish” (London 8). The man keeps feeding the fire and gets ready to take his (frozen and potentially dangerous) footwear off, and feels content and a sense of satisfaction of disproving the old-timers. But, just as it seemed to be that the fire was stable and strong, snow that was on the branches of the spruce tree he was under fell
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