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To Build a Fire Essay

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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.

To build a fire
In the short story, “To Build a Fire,” by Jack London person versus nature dominates the events. First, this being the man’s first winter he is inexperienced and lacking imagination with regard to the extreme obstacles that lay before him on his journey to camp. “But all this—the mysterious, far reaching hairline 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,” (London,126). If he had more experience, it may have warned him that it is too cold to travel further and to make camp and a fire for the night. He could also imagine himself in predicaments that could affect his life and perhaps make wiser choices. Second, the man refuses to see the warning signs his experienced canine is relaying to him. “It experienced a vague but menacing apprehension that subdued it and made it slink along at the man’s heels, and that made it question eagerly every unwonted movement of the man as if expecting him to go into camp or to seek shelter somewhere and build a fire,” (127).   The man is cocky about surviving whatever nature throws at him, so he ignores the dog. The dog’s instincts tell him not to travel, but he is forced to continue or receive a whipping from his traveling companion. Next, the man had to avoid falling through the ice traps that hid pools of water. “The creek he knew was frozen clear to the bottom—no creek could contain water in the arctic winter—but he knew also that there were springs that bubbled out from the hillsides and ran along under the snow and on top of the ice of the creek. He knew that the coldest snaps never froze these springs, and he knew likewise their danger. They were traps,” (128).   These pools of water could be deadly in such cold weather the water soaking into our clothes causing them to loss their effectiveness, and further freezing of any part that the ice touches. Not to mention the possible Popsicle effect. Finally, the cold itself it...

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