The protagonist has been given characteristics such as backwoods cluelessness and inner yearning that he finds difficult to understand and articulate. The story is centered around the theme of helplessness before the hand of fate and individuals restrained efforts to overcome the inability to defend themselves. In
the narrator describes himself as a jack-in-the-box , that comes when unexpected . He struggled more than anyone else . He was supposed to faint after the battle and disappear but he cae again to deliver his speech . He is like cats with seven souls . During all his life time he tries and tries struggling . He knows that he may keep struggling for a century but he didn't stop struggling
The narrator negated the advice given to him that, "no man should travel alone in the Yukon when the temperature is sixty degrees below zero." He failed to heed to the advice because he thought of how he had saved himself from the accident, and had built the fire alone. This was pride ruling him not knowing that, he was risking his life. His arrogance made him believe that he can make it all alone, and alive. The main character’s poor decisions led to his death. He was not compatible with the cold weather, and thus could not make it alone as his pride, and arrogance made him believe. His arrogance caused his death, because he imagined that he had the ability to travel alone in the harsh cold weather, and ignored the advice given to him. This instance of the narrator dying, because he thought
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.
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
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
The man exhibits quite a bit of self-reliance and pride similar to McCandless. The man seems to do everything he can to make his journey successful, but he failed before his adventure began. No one really knows how dangerous nature can be until one has experience a near death experience. The man regrets not listening to the old-timer, thinking: “All this the man knew. The old-timer on Sulphur Creek had told him about it the previous fall, and now he was appreciating the advice.
Alone on the Yukon trail, there was a man climbing in negative 50 degree weather. He did not believe it when they said it would be that cold. As the temperature dropped below 50 degrees, the man realized it was quite cold. The only thing to keep him warm was fire. He climbs for many hours, trying to get back to camp and to the boys. However right now he was alone with a dog. The only reason the dog stuck by him was so the man could make fire. “The dog had learned about fire, and it wanted fire.” however the only way it could obtain fire is if the man made it. No matter what happened the dog kept coming back for the fire. He walked as far as he could before he
Though London illustrates how nature is a difficult external force, the man is responsible for his misfortune, as his circumstances are the consequences of his choices. The narrator explains that the man was traveling ?to take a look at the possibilities of getting out logs in the spring? (978); more than likely, he did not have to perform this task, which required taking ?the roundabout way? (978). Also, despite being a ?newcomer to the land? (977), the man fails to bring a human companion to the ?unprotected tip of the planet? (982): just as the Earth is exposed to space here, as the narrator describes, the man has little defense against the cold. The man is not ignorant of the extreme cold, but rather, arrogant; though warned about the conditions (982), the man does not bring anything except a small lunch (978). Another sign of his lack of preparation is his failure to sufficiently protect himself from frostbite: he ?experienced a pang of regret that he had not devised a nose-strap...[that] passed across the cheeks, as well, and saved them? (979). Granted, the man can not see the water he falls into (981), but the fundamental responsibility for the journey is his. Furthermore, he elects to build the fire to thaw himself under the spruce tree, which proves disastrous (983). The narrator notes, ?It was his own fault, rather, his mistake? (982); the man also recognizes this, and knows he
Isolation revealed in two literary works. In many works that we have read isolation is a found in a lot of them. Two different literary works that implicate isolation are “To build a fire” and “The Scarlet letter”. Isolation in the literary work “To build a fire” is exemplified when the man and his dog go up north to search for gold in the worst weather conditions.
The man had no imagination and only understood facts. He knew it was very cold and his body was numb, but he failed to realize the danger. A newcomer with no experience, he thought he was invincible. Neither the "absence of sun from the
The miner attempts to start another fire in the open but his efforts are futile.” (London 9) The miner thinks about killing his dog companion for the warmth but is too weak. “The man then panics and begins running until he can run no longer.” (London 11) The man dies shortly after many attempts to run to the camp. These facts lead some critics to believe that the protagonist dies as a result of panic and the failure of his rational faculties. (Short Story Criticism)
As far as plot is concerned the setting plays as large a role as the wandering man does. The plot of the story is a simple one: a man who should have heeded the warnings of others must struggle to survive treacherous terrain and reach his friends at their camp. However London's attention to detail creates a desolate wasteland that in the end destroys the unlucky hiker. London's words create a chill as they describe the "far-reaching hairline trail" of which the man must follow (London 118). He also describes the temperature as "a bite of frost that hurt and that must be guarded against" which is presumably appropriate for seventy-five degrees below zero (London 118-119). The plot becomes void if the man has not the enemy and companionship of the setting therefore producing a heavy reliance on that setting.
First, I am going to analyze the dog’s relationship with the man. the man is on his way to meet the boys with his only companion, a wolf dog which represents the bond we have with nature. The dog relies on the man to provide warmth by fire and the man needs the dog for his instincts. I believe the that since it is a wolf dog it has both traits as a wild wolf and a domesticated dog. It is like a gateway between humanity and nature which allows us to be a part of it. The dog never left the man’s side because he needed him. The man however, the attempted to kill the dog to spare his life. The man also sent the dog across the lake knowing that the dog’s instincts could get him across. The man heavily relied on the dog for his survival and was willing to sacrifice him for the man’s
After further and cumulative study of the story, one may come to the conclusion that the man in the story has totally influenced reality both in his refusal to allow perceptions persuade him from his mission as he set out to it and also in his utter confidence in his own perceptions of his unique and higher judgment maintaining an overly optimistic outset in regards to his own abilities. One particularly dire incident began, “The man was shocked. It was as though he had just heard his own sentence of death” (London 130). One can see by the word “shocked” that he clearly assumed nothing would go wrong, until it actually is done already.