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.
In Jack London 's "To Build a Fire," he reveals how a man goes through a harsh winter in the forest facing multiple obstacles along the way. He has to depend on what he thinks he should do when problems arise instead of thinking intuitively and beyond the obvious. Before the unnamed man left on his expedition he was warned by an old timer "that no man must travel alone in the Klondike after fifty below" (London 238). If the man would have listened to the old timer in the beginning of the story he would have never had to be in any of the situations. But because the man likes to think for himself, it costs him his life.
In the short story “To Build a Fire”, Jack London uses naturalism and determinism to develop the plot. Naturalism pits the protagonist against the harsh conditions of the natural world that cares so little for humans. Determinism in this short story expresses that all outcomes result from a predetermined fate that the protagonist is bound to. The unnamed protagonist needed to have specific skills to be able to survive in these harsh conditions, but this protagonist had too many weaknesses and not enough strengths to survive; these weaknesses determine his fate and lead to his demise. Naturalism is the main reason for the demise of the protagonist due to the harsh natural conditions of the environment.
The man and the boy face many obstacles on the desolate, never-ending road that they overcome. The boy and the man have an encounter with a corrupt man that ends poorly, the man and the boy search for food by rummaging through houses they come upon helpless people, and the man’s decision at the end of the novel affects the boy. The boy is the light of the man’s world and the man urges to find a better place for them because of his angelic qualities and “if he is not the word of God, God never spoke”(4). McCarthy portrays the theme of the
It is obvious to anyone who has ever met a dog in their life that this man does not treat his dog properly. If your dog finches from you, then you are doing something very wrong and “it whined softly, then flattened its ears down in anticipation of being chidden by the man.” is most definitely a flinch. The dog lags behind him when they start walking again and the man crashes through the thin ice. If he had treated his dog properly it would have been walking alongside or slightly in front of him, in the perfect position for him to be warned of the hidden springs by the dog's instincts and reactions to the terrain well before they became the deadly threat they did. It is obvious the man viewed it as only a dumb animal and not the intelligent and loyal creature it truly is.
A place where he had to steal to eat, defend himself in order to survive. He encountered many confrontations and adventures in the wild, but Buck still remains the leader due to his strength. He has gone through many situations, lost his team, and his recent master. This is where he will meet Thornton and bond together. He will adapt to a new lifestyle as this quote emphasizes “Dog and man watched it crawling over the ice.
He lived as a serf who never knew how to read, write, or do anything other than his job and he had to leave his town because he was unrightfully claimed a wolfs head so he had to try to fend for himself. “O Great and Giving Jesus, I, who have no name, who am nothing, who does not know what to do, who is all alone in Thy world, I, who am full of sin, I implore Thy blessed help, or I’m undone.” (21) Crispin is praying to God to save him from the plight he was bound in, he was an experienced, terrified, and all alone while in the forest. Instead of being brave and trying to survive for himself, he called on a savior to help him. “By the Devil’s own spit...Have you lived your life under a rock? Were you born of sheep?
In “To Build A Fire”, the man, as he is called, is trying to make his way back to camp in freezing temperatures (London 65-66). He never really seems worried and it’s easy to see why. The man is far from helpless when it comes to life and death situations, even if he is a bit big-headed. It seems almost as if he has been trained on what to do in that specific situation. The reader later finds that it doesn’t matter in the end how resourceful he is as he ends up succumbing to the elements.
Carlson had initiated a conversation on Candy 's dog reeking in the ranch house and a final decision was made to shoot the dog and put its misery to an end. Candy 's ego is pragmatic which led him to let the guys shoot his dog but it was clear of the pain he was going through with the loss he had occurred. Candy had depended on his dog for friendship since he was a young boy and throughout time, he had not realized that he depended on the dog for his own sense of security. Unable to handle the absence of his best friend, Candy moved to George and Lennie for companionship, " 'Tell you what...S 'pose I went in with you guys. Tha 's three hundred an ' fifty bucks I 'd put in.
The Man has to deal with mother nature who won't change a thing no matter who you are. He ends up dying because it is too frigid to survive for a long amount of time. The conditions the Man has to deal with will not improve simply because he struggles to build a fire. The story shows how hard it is for him, “The snow fell without warning upon the man and the fire, and the fire was dead.” (73). It is what it is and he must deal with it.