Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” is the tragic tale of a man "who, against the advice of an old timer, ventures out into the harsh environment if the Yukon with only the company of a wolf-like dog. Due to his failure to heed the Old Timer's advice, the man is unprepared for the below freezing temperatures and becomes a victim of the harsh terrain. Towards the beginning of his journey, the man gets his feet wet as he falls through the ice into the water of a spring. The extremely low temperature means that the man needs to quickly build a fire to prevent his feet from freezing. Frantically, the man attempts to create a fire, however, his efforts prove to be ineffective.
Each symbol is used to more fully support the tone of the story. In London’s intensified setting, the most important symbol for the man is the symbol of fire. For the entire story, the man is working to build a fire, in the end dying because of his failure to do so. As a reader, we observe the protagonist go through frantic and desperate means in order to survive. Whether or not the man can build a fire in the story represents life and human’s ability to survive against nature.
As Brain struggles through the long, hot days and cold, lonely nights, he learns through moment after moment techniques on how to survive. Throughout the novel, we learn how important fire becomes to Brian. How it keeps him alive, its glow the only thing Brian can trust, can use. Yet, his discovery of this life giving element was on accident. Purely thought of as sparks lit up a dark cave.
If Pavel Ivanitch represents man’s need for philosophical reminiscing before death, the lack of human companion in “To Build a Fire” represents that a human’s lack of respect for necessary human companionship in time of need will lead to their demise. Under impression of the cold, the protagonist did not “meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man’s frailty in general” (London). The protagonist does not listen to the dog’s want for fire, and instead decides to prematurely celebrate his good pace even though he had never experienced a cold so severe. His mind remains empty except for the traps he must evade to survive. The dog knows the cold better than the protagonist, but he is aware of his master’s whip and “made no effort to communicate its apprehension to the man” (London).
This quote emphasizes the idea of Johnny's selflessness. During the fire and throughout the book, it is seen that Johnny cares for others more than himself. Risking his life in the fire to save innocent kids, he never knew, has a selfless act not many people would take. This quotes also highlights the idea of Johnny's change to a hero. As seen at the beginning of the novel, Johnny is the boy from the wrong side of the track, and while the story unrolls, Johnny starts to become a hero.
In the book “Into the Wild” written by John Krakauer, and the short story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, both represent and differ similarities within these stories. These two stories represent a selfish man thinking they can tackle an adventure in the wild. The two main characters live and experience identical deaths. The similarities between these two characters are nothing more than that both men travelled in similar harsh winter weather conditions, despite the fact both men were informed before their travels it would not be a simple journey to survive. Why would people face harsh weather conditions with little to no aid for them to survive?
In both stories an example of determinism would be that both of the men’s outcomes were determined by nature. In “Love of Life” nature really did decide his fate, because he was forced to struggle through the frigid weather without shelter, and in the search food. However bleak it may have seemed nature did show him mercy by allowing him to find the ship and allowing the reachers come to his rescue. In “To Build A Fire” nature forced the man through all of the hardships of being cold and hungry for so long that there could only one outcome, his demise at the end of the story by the freezing cold. All in all we can see London’s use of regionalism and naturalism did infact impacted the outcome of the stories he
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.
“To Build a Fire” has regionalism, naturalism, and realism has many examples. The regionalism for To Build a Fire starts with the beginning of the story when London described the “day as broken and gray” and the main character “climbs a high earth-bank” and the “Yukon is hidden under three feet of ice”. “London”. The naturalism in the story has multiple examples but the overall theme of it is that natural doesn 't care about the man in the story with the temperature being colder then he thought and when he walks on the ice and gets his feet and then you got the men building his finally fire in which he pulls to much twigs and sticks from the tree so the consequence is that the tree drops all its snow on him and the fire. The final example of
The wife thought she knew if she would stay alive eventually they would all get killed or get eaten. The father is the one that takes care of the boy throughout the novel. In the novel the boy shows sense of goodness and innocence, he always wants to help others before he helps himself. The fire the boy carries amounts to strengths