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Jack London - To Build a Fire Essay

  • Submitted by: vickiychung
  • on April 26, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 332 words

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

The story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London takes place in Alaska on an exceedingly cold and gray day, with the anonymous main character bringing a Husky as accompany and trying to fight the low temperature in order to get to his destination. Through this story, the author tries to tell his readers that people should never be arrogant and belittle the power of nature.

Using his knowledge, the main character passed through the dangerous zone of thin ice, and considered that he would be safe. However, he soon stepped into a puddle of icy water was forced to delay his journey. When the main character first started his long trip, he thought that it was cold, but didn’t think of anything particular about it except for scientific knowledge. The mind of this character is so numb that he couldn’t even follow the instinct of a human to gain warmth for himself and to stop traveling. Even the Husky he brought with him was able to recognize that the weather was terrible. To him, the fire he built was to satisfy the condition for him to survive. When he was sure that the fire was able to keep him alive, piles of snow fell and covered his fire. The story reaches a turning point when the main character started to panic, and madly followed his instinct to find ways for survival. He desperately lit tens of matches and let his hands burn; he tried to kill the Husky and use its corpse to keep warm. In the end, with regrets that he didn’t listen to the advice of the old man from Sulphur Creek to travel with a partner, he succumbed to the harsh nature, gave up his hopes and died.

This story shows that listening to others’ advices and trusting one’s instinct are essential. The author is telling his readers that people should never be to confident in themselves and belittle the world around them.

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