Jack London's To Build A Fire And The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connell

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The struggle of man versus nature long has dwelt on the consciousness of humanity. Is man an equal to his environment? Can the elements be conquered, or only endured? We constantly find ourselves facing these questions along with a myriad of others that cause us to think, where do we fit? These questions, crying for a response, are debated, studied, and portrayed in both Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. The settings in these stories, the Yukon in “To Build a Fire” and an island in the south Atlantic in “The Most Dangerous Game”, take a toll on the main characters in a very different fashion. Both of these short stories provide excellent demonstrations of this topic but the most obvious are the environment The Man is in, the, application of nature in Rainsford’s survival, Connells animal-like description of Rainsford, and the symbol of fire. We see in “To Build a Fire” that The Man is constantly plagued by the icy tundra he finds himself in. Unfortunately for him, at the beginning of his journey, the cold did not bother The Man. He states, “it was cold and uncomfortable, and that was all…it did not lead him to consider his weaknesses as a creature affected by temperature” (London 2). The man knew it was extremely cold, but failed to recognize the intense gravity of his situation: he did not process it as a viable threat. Eventually, this lack of fear caused his unfortunate demise. As the story goes on, his environment begins to

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