The Importance of Setting in Jack London's To Build A Fire Essay

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The Importance of Setting in Jack London's To Build A Fire

In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, the setting plays a

significant role throughout the entire short story. Jack 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 an environment of frigid

weather and doom, the author 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 us to the conclusion that the environment is the determining factor

of his
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What he would do if the

inevitable happened to him, is his personal monster. This situation

causes the man to become selfish, only focusing on his present actions and

thoughts. The man's ignorance to his surroundings foreshadows a possible

downfall.

London provides us with subconscious hints in his writing, that

lead his readers to believe that the man will suffer a tragedy in the end

of the story. "Its instinct told a truer tale than was told to the man by

the man's judgment." Having only the knowledge of his previous experiences,

the man is at a disadvantage to the dog. The dog by nature, is an

animal that has an innate gift of instinct. The setting placed in this

type of habitat, is the main conflict of the story. Under the cold

conditions, the dog has the ability to survive because it has always known

how. Only using his judgment, the man can't understand how to prevent a

disaster from occurring. London has already given away the ending, as a

result of his constant focus of the effect the environment has on the man

not knowing the means of survival that the dog knows.

Lured to the plot of the story, we keep on reading always

anticipating the danger of the climate to overcome the man. "On the other

hand, there was no keen