Narration is key for a reader to understand what is going on in a story, and Jack London 's “To Build a Fire” is a masterful way in which the themes and perception of nature can be completely different depending on the type of narration used to tell a story. “To Build a Fire” is told from the third person omniscient narrative perspective, which leads the reader to easily conceptualize the hazards that the young man in the story goes through in an arduous attempt to survive in impossible conditions. And yet, by keeping the story the same and changing only the narrative focus, a wholly new, dangerous and foreboding story is told. Using a different type of narration in Jack London 's “To Build a Fire” can emphasize different themes using the same material, provide insight to the readers that change the expected outcome, and can even change the reader’s attitude towards the characters. If London had focused the type of narration in “To Build A Fire” differently, he would have emphasized a different theme, provided an entirely different moral/tone, and changed the readers ' attitude toward the characters themselves.
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.
Therefore, man must live within the confines nature allows man to live in, meaning nature is the ruler of man. London also introduces the themes of instincts, primitivity, judgement, and foolishness. All these themes in the story are interconnected as they play into the central conflict. The fact that the man decides to ignore the advice of others in traveling in conditions he shouldn’t is not only a neglect of better judgement and instinct but shows the foolishness within the man as he believes he has the upper hand against the forces of nature. We also can see that in the story the dog is a symbol and representation of instinct.
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
In his political text Leviathan Thomas Hobbes describes a gruesome world where man has no sense of right and wrong and lives in a natural state of war. His actions are based primarily on passions, most notably the fear of death, and this fear colours every aspect of his life. Man, however, is a rational creature, and his possession of the faculty of reason also serves to shape his decisions and actions. This essay will explore the question, what effect does the interplay between passion and reason have on the creation of covenants and man’s obedience towards them? Hobbes states that man has the possibility of rising out of the state of nature “consisting partly in his passions, partly in his reasons;” (86) however, his entire argument relies much more heavily on the use of passion than the use of reason.
The philosopher Baron de Montesquieu was known by William Golding as he used Montesquieu’s concept of the common good throughout The Lord of the Flies. The concept of common good was understood by Montesquieu as, “the best interest of society, rather than their own personal self-interests (Ashton 3). There are many actions in Lord of the Flies that reflect this concept, one in particular is when the boys work together to make a fire. Ralph and the other boys make the fire and appoint Jack and his hunters to keep the fire alive (Lord of the Flies). Being rescued was the boys number one thing on their agenda as the fire would signal to planes nearby.
Thus literature has always conditioned our philosophical understanding of nature. Indeed, even the aesthetic categories by which our feeling for nature are understood, the beautiful, the picturesque, the sublime, the scenic, the wild etc. have been defined largely through their use in literary and critical contexts. Today, when the threat to the environment has assumed overwhelming proportions, man’s relationship to nature requires a redefinition. The time has come for a reaffirmation of age-old concepts like pastoralism, romanticism, transcendentalism and naturalism, which define and explore man’s relation to nature.
As well as London being an outgoing socialist, he stories are known to contain naturalistic beliefs. Although approaching this short story from a naturalistic view may dampen the political statement London is trying to make, knowing the man is destine to fail can be related to the success rate of a common man in a capitalistic economy. By following naturalism the audience can determine that the due to the character traits of the man and the dog and the environment they were in, their fates were sealed. Jack London reveals key characteristics about the nameless man throughout the story that allow the audience to piece together a character analysis. 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).
In To Build a Fire, the man had no respect for nature. He didn’t respect the fact that nature is stronger than any man. He went outside in below freezing weather and thought he could make it, but he couldn 't. He treated the land like it was something that could change to meet his needs. Nature will not stop or slow down because a man wants to go on an adventure.
“Man Jeete Jag Jeet” in Japji Sahib by Guru Nanak is a world famous teaching of controlling over the desires of mind lest one gets corrupted by them. It means, one can win the world but one cannot easily win over the mind/ desires. Therefore, a man who has controlled his mind is greater than the one who has conquered the world. The characters – Marlow and Kurtz – in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness display such contrast. The present study is aimed at understanding the symbolic darkness in the novella in the light of above given line by Guru Nanak.