Mankind in London’s stories are displayed as ignorant and without natural survival instincts, often being contrasted to dogs, who do have natural survival instincts. For example, when in “To Build a Fire”, the dog’s instincts were telling it to burrow underground to get away from the negative seventy degree weather, but out of fear of the unnamed man’s whip, ignored these instincts because it knew the man provided fire. Naturalism, an extreme type of realism, is a literary device and a movement focusing on extreme conditions that shape and govern a man’s character. Although the men in these stories do have their characters shaped by their experience, they typically die, almost defeating the purpose. Naturalism spans from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, in that the fittest will survive over the weak.
London wants readers to understand that the man didn 't need just warmth and fire but he needed to build this fire where it wouldn 't be doused. Through tone, theme and characters, in "To Build a Fire", Jack London reveals the man 's struggle against nature and how mankind in general no longer trust their instincts to think beyond the surface of life and its situation to survive in a world where man in less significant than the forces of nature. As the reader first begins the story they will
They made him work as a handyman instead. As a result, he would be cursed with crippling depression because he could never do what he wanted. This brief story shows the true face of a dystopian society. Dystopias restrict freedoms and in the end leads to the breakdown of society. It is important to always be aware of the possible sign of a dystopia and stop them from happening, but sometimes no matter what people do their beloved world takes a turn for the worst.
‘There was a ship-’” (115) This passage illustrates the fall of order in the group. An opportunity to be rescued revealed itself but due to the ignorance of the ‘hunters’ (the people who were meant to tend to the fire), the opportunity died out similarly to the flame. This was the first major passage in the novel in which the fall of order was evident, and it also displays that their group is slowly collapsing as they did not listen appropriately to the leader’s orders, Ralph. The group needed an independent individual who could guide them to a safer environment and provide a sanctuary, and Ralph was voted into this position. However, despite their verbal agreement to do so, they did not even rise to at least attempt to construct a safer haven for everyone.
William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, is about a group of boys who struggle in maintaining a signal fire while stranded on an island. Often, people believe that the fire does not play an important role in the novel, however, the fire is actually much more sophisticated and is able to represent how their connection to society keeps the boys alive. By continuing to believe that the fire represents the boys’ rejection of society, readers will misunderstand Golding’s emphasis on having faith and reliance in society. Throughout the progression of the novel, Golding uses the symbol of fire to represent how the boys’ necessity for societal interventions and actions are important in everyday life. When the fire goes out, it signifies the boys losing their link to civilization and represents when their savage behavior begins to take over.
Prometheus states, “For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one’s life”(Aeschylus 320), he says this to show how it is better to die than to keep living but suffering. Prometheus is an example of of good people suffering. He is chained to a wall because he tried to save humanity by helping them create fire. The purpose was to help humanity but he tried to do it undercover since he knew there would be consequences. The chorus states, “How shall it seem good?
“While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning” (Bradbury, Ray 3). Montag is a fireman that does not put out fires, he starts them. Montag lives in a dystopian society where books are illegal to have and read. Books make people think and question things which can give them opposite sides to choose from which can make people become unhappy and worried. The government does not want people to be unhappy and worried so they burn all of the books.
Hobbes sets up his argument by describing the state of nature as a horrible state. It’s worth mentioning that the state of nature is a term that is used in social contracts doctrines and political philosophy to refer to conditions that existed prior to enactment of the rule of law. According to Hobbes, the state of nature that exists without the government is inherently evil and troublesome. In such conditions man lives in “continuall feare, and danger of violent death (Leviathan, 72)” The potential for life is also cut short because there is no security. Implicitly, this infers that there is progressive development as the overall life of man is “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short.” Even the natural rights of nature that seek to guide humans fail in guiding them through self-preservation.
Charles Darwin, the inventor of the evolutionary theory, believed that our genetics are shaped over time by the patterns of natural selection and the surrounding environment. According to the theory, even humans are susceptible of such process and are guaranteed no free will as the surrounding is what shapes and determines the lives of each individual. Naturalism – the literary theory that one’s surroundings and background dictates their fate and often the exposure of the indifference of nature to human struggle – has been the theme of many pieces of literature that depicts the miseries of human life and its tendency to converge towards the society’s pre-set standards. Jack London and Upton Sinclair are amongst the most notorious writers throughout American naturalistic literature. Published in 1908, Jack London’s “To Build A Fire” illustrates the impotent attempts of a man to survive in the Alaska 's winter all alone, eventually being subjected under the formidable powers of nature.
The novel, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, takes place in a dystopian society that strictly forbids reading or have a printed book in your possession. The protagonist named Guy Montag, is a firefighter who burns any illegal books that are found. Montag in the beginning of the novel is an average citizen who hates books and does not understand the true value of them. He is known as a salamander, Montag can walk among the books he is burning, but he won’t get affected by them. But as the story continues, he begins his transformation.