Naturalism In To Build A Fire

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Jack London 's "To Build a Fire" is a short story that uses the literally element of naturalism to describe how an individual 's choices he or she makes ultimately will decide their fate in the future. In the short story the main character 's ego and lack of experience overcomes him, as he tries to travel through Yukon Trail in the middle of winter unprepared and ill-equipped. He made the poor choice of ignoring all the warning signs, leading up to, and during his journey. The man 's selfishness and arrogance lead to his unfortunate outcome. The story is set in the Yukon during the great Klondike Gold Rush, when over 100,000 people moved to the Yukon Territory in search of gold. This brought a lot of young men into the harsh wilderness, and many of them had no…show more content…
At ten o 'clock, the man believes that he is making good time in his journey by traveling four miles an hour. His face was now starting to go numb, and his cheeks were beginning to experience the early stages of frostbite. He begins to wish that he had foreseen the danger of frostbite and had gotten a facial strap for protection. He tells himself that frostbitten cheeks are "a bit painful, that 's all; they were never serious." (113) as a way to not think about the pain and continue to push on. He later arrives at a creek is familiar with and remembers the danger of the hidden springs that ran off from the hillside which left pools of water nearly three feet deep, covered by a thin sheet of ice hidden under the snowy ground. At this point, the man is very concerned about accidently falling into one of these pools. "And to get his feet wet in such a temperature meant trouble and danger." (113) Getting wet would only delay him, "at the very least it meant delay, for he would be forced to stop and build a fire...." (113) Every time he thought he came across a frozen pool, he would force the dog to go first to see if it is safe or not. At this point and time, he begins to get more and more nervous about
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