The main theme of London 's "To Build a Fire," is man versus nature. The man travels alone with just a native dog hoping to survive, ending up not making it through the harsh winter weather and ending up dying. Through the whole story everything keeps going downhill. For instance, the one good moment in the story, when he gets the fire lit, is soon accompanied by the worst moment when the fire is put out because of the snow falling on the fire from the trees above the fire. If the man would have just placed the fire in a more open spot and not under a canopy of trees this wouldn 't have happened.
Every single piece of literature has a theme that can be learned from it, but every author differs in their way of showing it through the text. Jack London tells the tale of the death of an ignorant man traveling in Alaska’s extreme cold in “To Build a Fire”. The man’s tragic, but not unexpected, death portrays the theme of common sense and instinct being essential to survival. London shows his theme through the man’s own thoughts and actions, the man’s canine companion and the advice of the old timer from Sulphur Creek. The source of the main conflict in the story is the man’s need to build a fire after getting his leg soaked in sub zero water, and we can see the first way the theme is shown from his fall.
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.
By killing Simon, the boys became what they were fearing. The boys thought that the beast would come out of the woods and attack them. Instead, they attacked a friend and very few thought anything of it. The boys became beasts without realizing
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?
There were the eaters and the eaten.” This shift in his thought process is what allows him to kill so mercilessly--if he wanted to live, he need to eat. Meat is his lifeblood. Without it, as he realized after the several famines he suffered as a pup, he would die. Animals are more than just his prey, they sustain his life. As such, he has no qualms with taking food wherever he can get it, and even aspires to grow strong enough to catch large prey like hawks and moose.
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.
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.
Candy's dog is also old and useless and Carlson was having enough always telling him to take it outside because it smelled so bad and to also kill it because it's useless,. But one day they were inside the cabin playing cards and Carlson finally persuades Candy to kill the dog. Now because Candy's dog has died, he feels lonely and says “You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They say he wasn't no good to himself