Jack London's To Build A Fire

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Nature is very powerful and a strong theme in “to Build a Fire”. London talks throughout the story about the freezing temperatures, fire, and water. The conflict that is significant between the men is that the new comer was very foolish in his decision to travel in the weather that day. The old-timer at Sulphur Creek warns him about traveling in fifty below zero weather. He also tells him that if he is going to travel in the Klondike in weather like this that he needs a travelling partner. Through out the story the new comer goes back and forth with himself about how the old-timer was wrong and then he would change his mind about how he was right. The new comer appreciated some of the advice that the old-timer had given but he was still…show more content…
He attempts to make a long journey through the snow covered Yukon terrain. He is an inexperienced man to the cold winters in the Yukon. This is his first winter there. He had no imagination even though he was quick and alert to the thing in life not to meaning of the things. “Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all.”(London 519) He is over confident. He has no understanding that weather this cold could be very dangerous to a man. It could cost him his life. He is alert to his surroundings. “He noticed the changes in the creek, the curves and bends and timber-jams, and always he sharply noted where he placed his feet.” (London 521) At one point he became scared because he heard the ice give. He knew that the creek was frozen solid but he is aware that the springs that came out of the hills were not frozen and it lay between a thin sheet of ice and the frozen creek. He was persistent from the beginning of the story. He was sure that he would make it to the camp where the rest of the men were by six o’clock. Later in the story he becomes very persistent to build a fire to save his life. Even though it is so cold and when he removes his gloves to start the fire his fingers becomes so numb that he is unable to strike the matches to start a fire. He tries and tries to start the fire. At one point he begins to…show more content…
The dog was dependent on the man for food and fire. The story talks about how there no was a keen intimacy between them. The dog did not make an attempt to communicate with his master for fear of whip-lash. “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.” (London 520) This shows that the dog was there because he depends on the man as his life source for food and protection against the cold. At the end the dog stayed with the man until he realized he could no longer feed and protect him so the dog ran back to the camp. He knew there that he would be able to find protection and

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