Analysis Of To Build A Fire By Jack London

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Jack London wrote many novels and short stories. One of his most well known stories is “To Build a Fire.” This story shows much on Darwinistic ideas which, in Jack London’s time, were very prevalent in the arts. In the story an unnamed man leaves his cabin to travel to another camp across the Yukon, a vast wilderness in Alaska. He is presumed to be headed for a mining camp because the story was inspired by London’s experiences during the Klondike Gold Rush. The man’s only traveling partner is a wolf-mix dog. As they travel many problems occur. First, the temperature is so cold, that the man’s fingers freeze as soon as he takes them out of his gloves making it harder for him to start a fire. Next, the man falls through the ice, and has to build another fire to dry himself off, but he did not pay attention to where he was building it, so snow from a tree fell on the fire, putting out the life-giving flames. Finally, the man’s fingers have completely frozen, so he cannot make another fire and he freezes to death. The dog, sensing death, runs to another camp close by to find food and shelter. Before the man dies, he accepts that the old man who lived in Sulphur Creek was right. The “Old Timer” previously had given him several warnings about the harsh Yukon weather, but the man did not listen. In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London the man's ignorance, arrogance, and nature going against him causes his eventual demise. Thigpen 2 The man’s first mistake is his ignorance. He is so
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