Essay On The Man In Jack London's To Build A Fire

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“The man was shocked. It was though he had just heard his own sentence of death” (London 85). The bitter, Yukon climate proposed numerous problems for the man in Jack London’s “To Build a Fire.” Often times, the man’s foolishness caused him to be unprepared in terms of survival. Yet, there are countless solutions that could have potentially saved the man’s life had he been prepared, navigated with someone else, and listened to his instincts instead of his judgment; similar to the dog who the man ventured with. These problems in London’s short story, which led to the man’s fatal end, are the man not being well prepared, traveling alone, and his confliction between his judgment versus his instincts.
As stated above, one reason the man met his demise in the story is that he was not well prepared. For instance, while the man knew how to build a fire, the matches he brought with him were useless once he could not feel his hands because of the extreme cold. Additionally, since the man was a newcomer to the land, he had not experienced what it was like to survive in the intensely frozen Yukon Territory during winter. Furthermore, being a chechaquo (newcomer) meant that the man did not have a distinct knowledge of the area and resources available to him that could have conceivably saved him. The man not
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For example, the man ignored the recommendation about traveling alone, because he underestimated the temperature. Not only did the man miscalculate the cold, he did not follow his instincts whilst the dog did, which could have potentially saved the man’s life. Furthermore, the unnamed man used his experience when he built the fire under a tree, which failed, instead of using his instincts to build the fire in a more clear vicinity. The man’s contrary debate between his judgment versus instincts is the primary reason the man did not survive the brutal subzero Yukon
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