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To Build a Fire Essay

  • Submitted by: madge124
  • on March 27, 2013
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 920 words

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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.

Is knowledge truly useful? If everyone lived purely off of knowledge what would be the ultimate outcome of the world? In Jack London’s To Build a Fire, we see the true realization of just how useful knowledge is when a man and a native Husky take a trip on the Yukon trail near Alaska in terribly cold weather, where instinct is knowledge’s enemy. This story really captures and makes you question what the thinking process of the human mind truly is. Jack London is making a point about knowledge; the specific point is that knowledge is useless unless you know how to use it.
The author starts out the story with the introduction of the main character, a man. He was taking
a trip to go see “the boys”, but in order to get to the camp in the mountains he had to walk in deadly
cold weather, with no other companion by his side but a regular sized native Huskey. The man sees no danger in this, in fact he seems almost too excited to go on this journey despite the little nip of cold outside. The author described the mas as “keenly observant,” yet also “foolish,” which translates that the man was smart, but had no common sense to help put the knowledge where he needed it to be useful. When he first starts his journey, the reader observes that every “once in awhile the thought reiterated itself that it was very cold and that he had never experienced such cold.” This proves that the man certainly was foolish, because if he really thought this through he would have realized that this trip wasn't the best idea, for the cold would surely give him a bad case of frostbite. The naïve state of this man was intense, for his fingers and toes had started to go numb and all that he thought of it was that it was just a “little cold outside.”
Toward the middle of the rising climax, the man decides to stop and build a fire to have lunch. This is where the Husky starts to come in and demonstrate some of his thoughts. We start to see some
conflict between the man and the dog, where the dog...

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