The Cost of Pride in Jack London’s To Build a Fire Essay

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In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” the nameless man’s pride cost him his life. Throughout the story, the character exhibits many indications that there is a possibility of his demise. It begins with the character’s inability to ground himself to reality, he observed the events happening around him, but he does not fully grasp the impact they have on him. He is naïve and overconfident, believing he could survive on his own; he does not take advice from an experience man from that country. The nameless man is unable to grasp at the events occurring around of him. He presents himself in a form of astral projection, removing his mind and senses from his physical body. During the course of the man’s journey, he demonstrates how he leaves his…show more content…
He also does not pack the necessary equipment to overcome the harsh climate and terrain. In addition, he was a newcomer to the area; it was his first winter (pg.128). Normally people would never travel under the same conditions the nameless man was facing. If they did, they would be very well equipped and would maintain themselves protected by the warmth of a fire. He was arrogant believing he could withstand Mother Nature’s force, without the proper gear.
Finally, he does not listen to his only “companion,” a native dog, natural instincts. The dog does not have a superior form of intelligent over the man; however, even the dog knows it is not safe to travel under those circumstances. The dogs seeks out warmth and shelter, all of which the man takes away from himself and the dog. If he had bothered to have communication with the dog, the dog would have surely guided his owner toward safety (pg.137). He also ignores the advice given to him by an old timer on Sulphur Creek. The man warns the nameless man of the punishing temperature of the country (pg.132). Most importantly, the older timer tells the man to travel with a companion; if anything happens to him his mate could help him out. However, the man carelessly continues his voyage to meet his buddies. If he had traveled with someone he could have been alive. He later acknowledges the old man and admits he was wrong (pg.136). The nameless man’s lack to grasp reality
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