“To Build a Fire” Literary Analysis Essay The story of “To Build a Fire,” by Jack London, is a tale of the battle between nature and humans. Yet, the reader asks, “Does this short story reveal the true challenges of humans as they travel in freezing temperatures and terrain?” Any knowledgeable person would know (in their right mind) that it’s not smart to go out into fifty below zero temperatures, but others, like this man, seem to think they can withstand it. The obstacles are present to detour him from his walking adventure, but he continues to ignore them because he believes nature is something he can accomplish. Starting on his journey, the man encounters many instances that should have deterred him from continuing on. The beginning of the story notes the weather: “There was no sun nor hint of sun, though there was not a cloud in the sky” (609).
He was not much given to thinking...” (611). This quote shows how the man does not thoroughly contemplate the situation and acknowledge the dog’s unusual behavior to be an important clue that he should stop traveling. The man’s ignorance becomes his ultimate downfall, while the dog’s instincts allow it to survive the trip. A final instance where the dog’s actions show its judgment to be better than that of the man’s is when it says, “This man did not know cold. Possibly all the generations of his ancestry had been ignorant of cold, of real cold, of cold one hundred and seven degrees below freezing point.
Imelda Daniel Mooneyham/3 September 28, 2012 Character is usually reflected by the way one reacts or acts upon a certain situation. Pride and ignorance can affect ones fate and get them into sticky situations, where instinct may become the best choice. With no imagination and miles of snow, one can lose patience and end up giving in just as the man did in “To build a fire” by Jack London. The man was so sure he could survive the extraordinary temperatures of Alaska, but ends up dead at the story’s end. The man was also warned at the beginning of the story, that when it gets too cold, one must be accompanied with a partner.
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.
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.
First Writing Assignment The interesting American short stories that are Jack London’s “To build a fire”, it is about the man who travel with his dog in the freezing temperatures and danger part of the world. John Updike’s “A&P”, a young man who chose to defend the honor of an anonymous customer and stood up for what he thought was right. Both stories refer to naturalism of human. In this essay, comparing for theme these two stories have similar theme. Also, there are different points in the similar theme.
And although “The Open Boat” and “To Build a Fire” are written in different styles, they equally exemplify the power of nature set against man through the characters struggles for survival in addition to lose of hope. The stories express how nature never chooses sides, therefore is always apathetic to man. In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” the character is traveling along the Yukon trail with the weather below zero degrees. On his journey he encounters an old timer who warns him about traveling any father if the weather was below fifty, yet he ignores his warnings and chooses to continue. He could have easily avoided the situation unlike the crew in “The Open Boat” who were already in that situation.
The author mentions the young boy try to stay alive by warming up, "He felt like crying, but was to frightened, and could only run and meantime breath on his hands to warm them." (Dostoyevsky 761). Even though the two characters faced dreadful winters, the situations were different. The boy decided to browse the town in the cold; on the other hand, the girl was forced to be in the cold. The author points out that the girl was forced to stay outside from her father to sell matches, " …for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows…" (Anderson 2).
Another example of how Bruno was avoiding thinking about what was happening around him was when he said, “I expect we’ll have to wait here till it eases off and then I’ll get to go home” (Boyne, page 212). He was ignoring the reality, the facts, instead he is thinking ahead, about going home. This book has definitely showed me, we need to be more aware of the circumstances we are in. Innocence leads to tragedy. Before I read your book I often thought of the cruelty of the WWII and I could hardly imagined the world with people not protesting