Jack London's To Build a Fire Nature is always pushing man to his limits. When man heeds the warning signs that nature has to offer and those warnings of other men, he is most likely to conquer nature. When he ignores these warnings, nature is sure to defeat man. To build a fire is a prime example of this scenario. In the short story, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, an inexperienced traveler in the Yukon travels alone with his dog, even though it is ill advised to do so. The man is strong and smart but nature humbled him during his quest to reach his friends. The man’s inexperience with traveling in the cold subzero temperatures doomed him from the beginning, but his strong focus under extreme pressure and his keen sense of
Nature is given human characteristics, so it could be the villain of the story. Story takes place in the Klondike. The main character used the landscape as a clue. He also used a faint line as his way back (Kreidler, Michele L). Since it’s snowy he leaves a trail behind him. He uses takes advantage of the landscape around him but relies on it for too long. “The man is a newcomer to the Klondike and is setting out from town to join his compatriots, referred to 'the boys' at a specified point on the Yukon River” (Kreidler, Michele L). He is new in the Klondike so this already shows that if he goes anywhere he is most likely getting lost. This foreshadows the death of the man. “London describes the traveler, "a newcomer in the land," as being unaware of "his frailty as a creature of temperature…able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold"” (Robert S. Puchalik). The man doesn’t know how frail the human body can be. The setting is important because if he knew the territory he was in he would probably have a higher chance of surviving. Klondike is where the man is currently staying. It is a safe zone for him because he has warmth. He is traveling to the Yukon River to meet his compatriots.
The man represents the fraction of society that doesn't respect nature. He doesn't understand the power of nature because he is oblivious to it. On the other hand the dog was "told a truer tale than that was told to the man by the man's judgement." The man "did not know cold. Possibly all the generations of his ancestry had been ignorant of cold, of real cold." "The was no keen intimacy between the dog and the man." The man and the dog are together because the man needs the dog, and the dog has no choice. They have no emotional connection between them because the dog is used as a slave. In one part of the story the man uses the dog to test the trail and make sure that it is safe. The dog has more inherent knowledge about the area, all of his "ancestry knew" about the cold and the dangers of extreme cold. He also had a warm "natural covering" to keep him safe from the weather. The man was not used to the cold. He "was without imagination. He was quick and alert to the things of life, but only the things, and not the significances." He also was stubborn for his neglect to take advice.
The man learns his lesson the hard way.The man encountered many internal warnings that it was too cold to be outside. First, his nose and cheeks went numb. His face, feet, and hands followed. His beard and mustache grew icy from his breath.
A good writer’s depiction of setting positions the reader right into the story. In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, the setting plays a significant role throughout the entire short story. London uses certain techniques to establish the atmosphere of the story. By introducing his readers to the setting, prepares them for a tone that is depressed and frightening. Isolated by the hostile environment of the Yukon in sub-freeing temperatures, a man falls victim to the unrelenting and unforgiving power of nature, London shows us how the main character of the story is completely unaware of his surroundings. The only world the man is truly accustomed to is his own. Never being exposed to such a harsh climate draws one to conclude that the
The trio regarded the future with jaded pessimism. If they made their way to the coast and followed it south they might have a chance of survival. Hearsay told them that South America wasn’t as cold. Their layer of permafrost was only a few inches in the south rather than the foot and a half in Canada. One of the men had already lost two fingers to frostbite. Another lost his child to hypothermia. The third hadn’t had anything to lose except for a drug addiction.
The man in this story has had a long and difficult journey, filled with emotional and physical pain. The only company he had was a native dog who followed him everywhere he went. The cold air of the Yukon trail presented a major problem for the man as
As the passage begins, Carter begins to paint a picture for the audience, using emotional appeal to describe his time in the regions of the Arctic Refuge. He introduces his own personal experience regarding the topic. Through sharing his own experiences, Carter establishes a personal bond with the reader, which in turn would aid in the persuasion of his opinion. He continues on by mentioning one of the most “unforgettable and humbling” experiences of his life where him and his wife had witnessed the migration of caribou. By revealing that one of his most unforgettable experiences was also linked to the Arctic Refuge, he highlights the importance of these experiences for others to have. By establishing a personal connection with his audience, Carter is not only able to grasp their attention but also builds his credibility easily, through his use of facts and examples.
“To Build a Fire” is a short story written by Jack London. It is viewed as a masterpiece of naturalist fiction. “To Build a Fire” features a miner who is traveling to the Yukon Territory with a dog as his companion. The miner is the protagonist and the dog companion is called the foil. The dog plays off of the traits of the protagonist. “The central motif of “To Build a Fire” concerns the struggle of man versus nature.” (Short Story Criticism) The most argued point in the short story is the reason of the protagonist death. “Some critics believe that it was his lack of intuition and imagination that lead to his death, while others say that he dies because of panic.” (Short Story Criticism) The protagonist in “To Build a Fire” struggles in
Imagine wandering into arctic weather, knowing your chances of making it out alive are slim. All you have is a wolf dog, and the clothing on your body. You have 10 miles to go over rugged Alaskan terrain, and you need to follow a trail cover in a foot of
This man who we do not know from the start got lost in the Yukon Trail. From the start we could see he wasn’t sure where he was and that brings me to number one in the Principle of Survival his perception was not clear he wasn’t sure what was going on at the beginning all he knew was the it was nine o’clock and the sky was starting to get a subtle gloom. His awareness was not in the best place either in this situation, “ But all this-this mysterious, far reaching hairline trail, the absence of sun from the sky, the tremendous cold, and the strangeness and the strangeness of it was- made no impression on the man.” He wasn't aware of the symptoms that he was already experiencing like the frost forming on his beard. He didn't have that awareness that he needed in the type of climate he was in.
The readings for week 2, specifically Jack London’s To Build a Fire helped students meet course goal seven to “enhance the students’ understanding of the value of holistic thinking in making informed judgments and in applying values as they become increasingly conscious of what is at stake if we fail
The illusion of free will is prevalent in this story because the man feels he can force his hand with nature, while the dog warns the man of the possible dangers ahead. Moreover, the dog in “To Build a Fire” is more in touch with reality than the man, as it signals to the man to stop and set up camp, “The dog was disappointed and yearned back toward the fire…...it was time to lie snug in a hole in the snow and wait for a curtain of cloud to be drawn across…... so the dog made no effort its apprehension to the man” (1051-1052). However, the man full of ego decides to push ahead and ultimately fails. Furthermore, as the man nears his end, he tries to use the dog to survive by killing it and using its body heat for his survival, “the sight of the dog put a wild idea into his head……He would kill the dog and bury his hands in the warm body until the numbness went out of them…...his voice was a strange note of fear that frightened the animal” (1055). However, the dog sees through his trick and stays away from the man. Moreover, the man thinks he is brave for making the trek but it changes when the young man’s fire is put out by snow falling from a tree, “It was his own fault or, rather, his mistake…...It grew like an avalanche, and it descended without warning upon the man and the fire, and the fire was blotted out!” (1053). Thus, due to the freezing cold weather, the man succumbs
The man is also weak in the face of nature as nature tortures him with the physical accidents the man suffers. He firstly begins when his cheekbones and nose went numb and becomes worse as he looses touch and grasp of his hands, finishing off with the freezing of his corpse and sudden stiff death. London exclaims about the accounts the man has suffered, “This man did not know cold.” (London, 487) and “He was loosing in his battle with the frost.” (London, 493) I do agree because the man is a new comer, a chechaquo, meaning that it is the man’s first contact with such freezing environment. The man constantly through out the story efforts in combating against the forces of nature that he can not control the reason being because he was inexperienced to such environment, therefore the man is bound to be with the odds and like London exclaims, loose his battle with his environment. The environment shaped him such that it proved he is not fit enough to live in the extreme cold.
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