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To Build a Fire Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on April 30, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 640 words

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Below is an essay on "To Build a Fire" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Man against nature. It’s a touchy subject that can always cause a heated discussion. Whether it’s what we would have done in that situation or what one should have done in their predicament. Yet one doesn’t really know placed into a situation like it. It’s very uncommon when man wins against nature, and in Jack London’s To Build a Fire nature pretty much kicks mans rear-end. Jack London creates a character with no name. In doing so, the man does not represent individuality, but is a representation for all men depending on fact over instinct. “He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances” (621).   The author intended for the reader to side with nature. Here are the reasons why.
One of the reasons we know London was intending for the reader to side with nature is because ho blatantly foolish the man was. The man “was a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter…. Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty-odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all” (621). Jack London’s observation of the man's foolish self-assurance in the face of nature's power proves that he intended for the reader to be on nature’s side.
Another reason for why London wanted the reader to pick natures side is because of the way the man treated nature.   The man had a companion accompanying him on his journey “At the man's heels trotted a dog, a big native husky, the proper wolf-dog...” (622).Although he was with him the dog did not particularly like the man… “There was no keen intimacy between the dog and the man. The one was the toil-slave of the other, and the only caresses it had ever received were the caresses of the whip-lash and of harsh and menacing throat-sounds that threatened the whip-lash. So the dog made no effort to communicate its apprehension to the man. It was not concerned in the welfare of the man “(625). The man was mean to the dog and treated it...

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