Theme Of To Build A Fire And The Story Of An Hour

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“To Build a Fire” and “The Story of an Hour”: Intangible Emotions Instigate Actual Mortalities “Thoughts become perception, perception becomes reality. Alter your thoughts, alter your reality” (James “William James Quote”). This sentiment from William James who was a leading philosopher and psychologist at the turn of the 19th Century inspires one to challenge their labeling of a current circumstance, suggesting happiness is a perception that can be manipulated. This mind over matter approach to life’s struggles has become commonplace in the repertoire of motivational speakers, close friends, coaches, and other well-meaning influencers alike. This ambiguous concept has the ability to produce very real consequences, even death. In…show more content…
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. This is a recurring theme in the characters personality that never seems to expire until the man himself expires. The passage becomes increasingly grotesque: “His flesh was burning. He could smell it. Deep down below the surface he could feel it. The sensation developed into pain that grew acute. And still he endured it, holding the flame of the matches clumsily to the bark that would not light readily because his own burning hands were in the way, absorbing most of the flame” (London 131). This quote is symbolic of the way the man’s inability to challenge his own perception is causing his own demise; he is burning his own flesh and absorbing most of the flame in the process. Not only is his ego damaging,
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