The Short story, ‘To Build a Fire’ by Jack London, published in 1908, is an archetypal naturalist tale regarding a man who travels alone through the unforgiving Yukon in Winter, before ultimately falling victim to the harsh environment. The story portrays the issues in being unaware of the power of nature and portrays a strong naturalist, In the very beginning of the story, his indifference to the forces of nature is evident through London’s vivid imagery of the uninhabited environment and the man’s nonchalant tone imitated through the neutral diction present. Furthermore, the quote “The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances,” explicitly foreshadows that an issue will come of his indifference
In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” the reader follows along in the journey as an almost anonymous man wanders somewhat through the cold winter Yukon. “To Build a Fire” explores a variety of methods to reveal aspects of the protagonist. In "To Build a Fire", Jack London uses inner thoughts, mood and setting to develop the character of the unnamed man.
Readers of all ages, literature lovers, and book fanatics often find conflicts within their own lives just as the characters of the stories they read do. Some are able to find a way to overcome and conquer, while others get stuck behind or can not find a way to beat them. In Jack London’s short story called “To Build a Fire,” the main character conflicts with mother nature, who keeps tearing him down at every possible point. The main character, who is only referred to as the Man, is battling his way alone through the harsh temperatures of the Yukon. On this journey he runs into many obstacles and challenges. The Man does not listen to the advice he is given, leading to his inevitable death at the end. The most notable theme London builds
When Jack London wrote "To Build a Fire" he embraced the idea of naturalism because it mirrored the events of daily life. Naturalism showed how humans had to be wary at every corner because at anytime death could be there, waiting for them to make a mistake and forfeit their lives. He used naturalism, the most realistic literary movement, to show how violent and uncaring nature really is and how no matter what you do nature will always be there. London also presented the basic idea of Darwinism and the survival of the fittest, basically if you are dumb you will die. Collectively, London used naturalism to show how in life, humans can depend on nothing
Stephen Crane’s short story, “The Open Boat” speaks directly to Jack London’s own story, “To Build A Fire” in their applications of naturalism and views on humanity. Both writers are pessimistic in their views of humanity and are acutely aware of the natural world. The representations of their characters show humans who believe that they are strong and can ably survive, but these characters many times overestimate themselves which can lead to an understanding of their own mortality as they face down death.
In “An Episode of War,” the setting of the story is a battlefield during the Civil War. The outcome of being shot on the battlefield is unpredictable, which enhances the Naturalist’s belief that life is determined by chance. When the lieutenant gets shot in “An Episode of War,” he reacts rather slowly to the situation, and tries to help himself. His companions were offering to help him, and “One timidly presented his shoulder and asked the lieutenant if he cared to lean upon it, but the latter waved him away mournfully.” (510) The lieutenant portrays the Naturalist belief that people should endure their suffering with quiet dignity when he does not accept help from his
In Jack London's “To Build A Fire” the story follows a man and his dog in the Klondike and their obstacles of trying to get to the boys which are his compatriots. The story revolves around the winter and how mankind reacts to the wild. The author uses nature to illustrate the poem’s tone by vilifying nature and using it as an obstacle.
Jack London conveyed many useful and deep messages in his story To Build a Fire. Instincts can hold stronger than knowledge in a variety of situations. Everyone knows the Yukon is an extremely cold area, but not like the instinct of a dog. No one truly knows the extent of the cold wilderness, until put into the harsh weather. Ignorance and pride can cost someone their life in extreme situations. The themes of Jack London’s To Build a Fire are pride, instinct against intelligence, and humans’ inability to overcome nature.
Naturalism was a literary movement or tendency from the 1880s to 1930s that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character. Basically characters can be studied through their relationship with their environment. A lot of jack London’s work was based on naturalism, and “To build a fire” was no different. The story starts off with an unnamed man in Yukon (where he is foreign) where it is more than 50 degrees below zero. "The man's red beard and moustache were likewise frosted, but more solidly, the deposit taking the form of ice and increasing with every warm, moist breath he exhaled. Also, the man was chewing tobacco, and the muzzle of ice held his lips so rigidly
John London uses realism, naturalism and irony on his story "To Build A Fire". This story narrates the story of a men in the middle of the Yukon Trail, London narrates how a man is trying to get to the fork of Henderson Creek, where the boys were already. The man was hoping to find some gold and that's what lead him to his own tragedy.
“To Build a Fire” by Jack London is a short story about a man traveling through the Alaskan Yukon to meet up with his friends for lunch. The author keeps the character nameless and refers to him only as “The Man” which is used to show a connection between humanity and nature. The story shows the hardships the man goes through to get to his destination through the Alaskan Yukon, yet unfortunately doesn’t make it. The conflict is a man versus nature theme which contrasts strong and direct relations of the hardships in nature. Throughout this analysis, I am going to explore the conflict between the man and the merciless nature he has to go through before his death.
To Build a Fire is a story is a perfect example of the writing genre Naturalism. It contains elements like survival depends on instinct, nature is impersonal, man lacks free choice, and heredity and environment direct and influence our lives. In the story nature is the antagonist and is very impersonal, as it is in life. The dog
The protagonist (unidentified man) from Jack Landon’s “To Build a Fire” is a prime example of how pride can lead one into a great deal of trouble. On denying the advice of the Old-timer of Sulphur Creek (to not go alone below -50 F), he consistently made attempts to question his masculinity and insult him when he wasn’t in a predicament. Otherwise, when he was in one, that man recalled his words with much despair and concurred
“[Jack] London possessed, to an extreme, the characteristics associated with creativity” (Schwebel 4). London is an esteemed American Literature author that lived from 1876 to 1916. London wrote many renowned short stories, many of which fall under the era of naturalism. Naturalism is “The term Naturalism describes a type of literature that attempts to apply scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of human beings.” (Scheidenhelm). Naturalism describes life exactly how it occurs, and approaches explanations from a scientific standpoint instead of discussing the spiritual and supernatural. One of the key elements of naturalism is the explication of human relationships with nature.
Have you ever read a book by the Early American Novelists Stephen Crane or Jack London? Stephen Crane was recognized by modern experts that he was the most inventive novelist of his generation. Jack London became famous worldwide by the age of 30 years old for his books Call of the Wild (1903), The Sea Wolf (1904) and other journalistic accomplishments. Both of these novelists have accomplished so many things throughout their lives. My goal in this paper is to provide some information about their lives and hopefully interest you to read some of their books.