Jack London , to Build a Fire How Can Reason Lead Yout to Death?

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How can reason lead you to your death? “To build a fire” is one of Jack London´s best known work. It is a short story that describes the struggle that a man suffers in order to survive extreme weather conditions. The main purpose of the fallowing paper is to discuss the fight between instinct and reason in London’s short story In this story “reason” is represented by the chechaquo man and instinct comes in the shape of a dog. London uses this story to criticize the arrogance of man. Though man has been gifted with the ability to reason, this gift often works against man by allowing him to ignore his instincts. The man has "reasoned" that he is intelligent enough to protect himself from the elements as he travels across the Yukon Territory. His reason becomes arrogance which leads him to take very bad decisions; According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary “arrogance is an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions”. This man definitely makes presumptuous claims when he disregards the advice given to him by the old timer at Sulphur Creek: never to travel alone when the temperature was more than 50 degrees below zero. However, the dog is relying on his instincts. The dog knows that it is too cold to be out. He knows to bite away the ice from his fur after being in the water, though the man does not know to keep his glove on. The dog is reluctant to leave the fire, but the man assumes he'll be fine after the brief warm-up. The dog knows to shrink away from the man when the man has decided to burn the dog. His instincts warn him of the danger; instincts the man has been ignoring in himself. Finally, the dog knows that he can survive by curling up and using his own body heat, while the man makes himself worse by fighting with the fire.

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