“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.
Arrogance is Dangerous In the short story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, the author analyzes the similarities of humans logic and animal instincts in a life or death situation. The story takes place in a arctic winter where a man and his dog are trekking through a frozen forest to get to another town. Soon after he leaves, the man realizes that it is a lot colder than he had thought when his spit freezes instantly in the air instead of it freezing when it hits the ground. Despite this discovery and the fact of humans only being able to “live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold”(London 482), the man decided to continue on towards his destination. During the whole time the man was just trying to prove it to others that he able to conquer these conditions, while the dog knows that the cold they are enduring is nothing to test.
He takes a risk that could either pay off mightily or possibly send him to his death. The Man is lead to a yukon territory that is extremely cold. He is isolated from all people and only has a dog making the journey with him. It is clear that the temperature becomes the man's enemy, “Fifty degrees below zero meant 80 degrees of frost. Such facts told him that it was cold and uncomfortable, and that was all.
Argumentative Essay In “To Build a Fire,” the story of an unnamed man traveling along the Yukon Trail with a dog is told. Throughout the story, the man’s death is foreshadowed. The husky that he is traveling with has a natural instinct and understands, seemingly more than the man, that traveling the Yukon Trail in the freezing cold temperatures is extremely dangerous. The man soon learns how cold it is when he spits. His saliva turns into ice before hitting the ground, and he knows this means that it is more than fifty degrees below freezing.
The Dark Sky With the winter storm being blown and the eerie darkness of the night, this was no fairytale of the cowboy riding through a sunny open range. The author’s purpose in Blood Meridian was to inform and describe the harsh reality of the hardships cowboys faced in their everyday lifestyle. Cormac Mccarthy makes it realistic to clear up the misconceptions that are usually connected to the glorious life of a cowboy. When most people think of a cowboy, they think of them as the brave hero of the town, but Mccarthy turns it all around by shining a light on the brutal truth. He says, “They cut the throats of the pack animals and jerked and divided the meat.” It shows that they are uncivilized and have to live like wild animals.
While on his journey, he was not cautious while carrying out tasks (Gonzales 97). For instance, the dog knew that it was brutally cold outside. When the man left the fire the dog stayed. The main character should have noticed the dog’s actions, but did not. He fell through the ice and soaked himself from the knees down (London 83).
No one should ever put themselves in harm 's way. Most of the time people don’t know what they are doing. Most people try things and try to attempt many reckless and dangerous things without knowing exactly what they are doing in those situations. That’s why you are responsible for your own actions in a life-or-death situation. Many detrimental situations that people come across or suffer from happen because of deficient judgement and awful decisions, including not thinking twice about their actions, that cause the situation to occur.
For example, in the very beginning, “a man was fighting his way to the door” (261). This small quote in itself, shows the struggle man faces against an effortless, natural environment. When the men are trying to “offer the smallest possible surface to the attack of the cold” (262), the wording personifies nature as it is giving the cold an action. From plentiful quotes like
In the beginning of the story, he stops for a breath at the top of a steep hill but has to excuse the act by check his watch revealing his pride (London 2). The nameless man’s arrogance also shines through by his attempt to conquer the deadly Yukon alone, during his first winter. He exaggerates his survival abilities when he takes a separate, longer path than his buddies at the cabin with nothing more
The forces of nature are unable to be predicted, especially in an environment where someone has not familiarized themselves with. London explains how the forces of the environment are not in favor of the man who chooses to disregard the warnings that were given to him. At the beginning of the man’s journey he had been warned by the old man about the harsh winter months that the Yukon would offer those who travel through the wilderness. However, he chose to ignore the warnings and proceed on his endeavor of the Yukon. For example, “The man from Sulphur creek had spoken the truth when telling how cold it sometimes gets in the country.
While playing with the fire he didn’t think he can get burned by it. Even when his ambitions were too unrealistic to achieve, he continued to follow them, relying oh his belief of his own exceptionality. Maybe if he would have been less self-centered and a little more humble to let other people help him to prepare better for his journey, he could still be alive, but unfortunately instead of thinking rationally he let his arrogance cloud his judgments and in April 1992 he walked into the Alaskan forest not prepared for what was waiting ahead of