Some stories can have an emotional impact on readers, but every so often a story will reach out and help the reader escape into it. Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” is a fascinating story with a remarkably well described setting, and geographical descriptions of the surrounding Yukon areas. It portrays an overconfident man, whom because of his lack of intuition and stubbornness, succumbs to natures unforgiving climate.
London’s novella Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck’s transformation from a domesticated pet on a vast Santa Clara Valley estate to the primal beast he becomes in the bitter regions of the Klondike wilderness. London delivers Buck’s journey in several key plot events and uses various settings and narration styles to tell the story in a way that allows a reader to easily become invested in Buck’s character and well-being from the viewpoint of a loyal and lovable pet, as well as, that of a creature returning to its primal roots and ancestry. Settings in Call of the Wild consist of generally harsh and vicious locations, situations previously unknown to Buck, and various hostile persons and dogs. As well as a variety of settings, London
Jack London brings a natural instinct into the spotlight by defining that everyone has that primal call to the wild, and often one feels this when in a difficult situation. Giving into this ‘call of the wild’ leads to a different kind of adaptation, it makes you become primal to survive in a primal situation. Further into the book it states, “The others sat down and howled. And now the call came to Buck in unmistakable accents. He, too, sad down and howled.” (London, 1990, p.62). This is the defining moment of Jack’s book when Buck lets go of all ties to humans and decides to carve his own path, adapting the way he needs to, not the way that humans encouraged him. Soon, Buck changes himself completely to fit snugly into the environment and to prevent further torturous struggles with humans. These quotes combine to paint a picture of total and complete change when it comes to a new and unfavorable environment.
In his novel, The Call of the Wild, Jack London wants us to see the step beyond the survival of the fittest to the complete adaptation to and domination of a once unfamiliar and unforgiving environment. Using a third-person, limited omniscient narrator, the cold, icy Yukon wilderness, and a journey from lazy farm life to the deadly work of a sled dog, we see Buck, a Saint Bernard/Scotch Shepherd mix slowly return to his ancestral roots. As Jacqueline Tavernier-Courbin states in her book The Call of the Wild: A Naturalistic Romance, “The book deals less with the concept of evolution than with that of devolution” (Courbin pg 57). London asks us to believe that happily domesticated farm dog, Buck, can not only survive life as a sled dog in the Yukon, but can become completely in tune with his primitive inner self, and ultimately thrive as a leader of a wolf pack.
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.
Manuel kidnaps Buck and sells him to pay off a debt. Buck’s trustworthy nature changes as soon as he is beaten and is not fed or allowed to drink water. When Buck arrives in Seattle he is almost beaten to death by the man in the red sweater. &quot;He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club.&quot; (Call of the Wild, page 19). Buck learns from this horrible incident the ‘law of the club.’ The law of the club states that a dog is no match for a man with a weapon. Buck witnesses as his newly-made friend named Curly is torn to pieces by thirty or forty huskies after she falls to the ground from fighting. Buck is taught the ‘law of the fang’ from Curly’s death scene. The law of the fang recognizes the fact that once a dog falls to the ground he is dead. In the north, Buck learns many traits that will help him journey through the north in order to survive. Buck learns that he has to eat his food quickly in order to not have it stolen; he learns to steal food to survive, because the daily ration cannot fill his stomach; he learns to break the ice out from his toes; and finally Buck learns that in order to stay warm during the harsh, freezing nights, he has to make a ‘nest’ to sleep in. Because Buck learns these new secrets of the sled dogs, he is able to survive in the north and to maintain his
The story To Build a Fire demonstrates possible dangers of traveling in the Yukon under extreme cold. Through a young man, Jack London depicts the consequences of ignoring instinct and survival advice. The man travels with a dog, who can perceive the dangers of the freezing wilderness. The reader learns of the man's personality through descriptive words and phrases while journeying through the story.
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
In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”, London describes a man’s tragic journey with his dog through the bitter Yukon. This journey ends in the death of the man as his careless decisions finally results in his downfall, however; his companion, the dog, is able to survive. London uses the dog in this story as to embody the natural survival instincts that the protagonist lacks. The dog portrays the role of the companion throughout the man’s journey.
For example, a theme of survival of the fittest is presented when Buck first joins the sledding team, as there is a constant power struggle between characters, particularly Buck and Spitz. On the other hand, incidents such as Buck’s initial beating at the hand of his master symbolize Buck’s departure from his pampered life at the estate to his survival-based situation as a sled dog. These literary devices add a crucial element to the book and enhance the story for the reader.
In the short story, “To Build a Fire,” Jack London puts a tragic twist on the classic tale of wilderness survival. The author’s use of imagery and detailed sentences leave readers yearning for the warmth of fire alongside the characters. The story takes place in the Yukon during the Great Klondike Gold Rush, where the author himself spent a very influential part of his young life. London’s style of writing is an exaggeration of his own experience while mining in the arctic north. In this story, Jack London writes about an inexperienced man and his dog’s struggle through fatal weather conditions.
Jack London composed "To Build a Fire," the tragic story of a man's battle to defeat the force of nature in the most extraordinary temperatures. All through his voyage along the trail in the Yukon, he belittles nature and overestimates himself. Very quickly his destiny is uncovered when London writes, "But all this---the mysterious, far-reaching hair-line trail, the absence of sun from the sky, the tremendous cold, and the strangeness and weirdness of it all---made no impression on the man" (977). The man is a chechaquo to the Yukon and he doesn't care to understand the threat of this voyage. Regardless of the man's carelessness, as a reader, hope is still alive that rescuers will save him.
“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