The Theme Of Isolation In 'To Build A Fire'

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Being isolated can affect people in many ways. In "To Build a Fire", the protagonist, a man traveling along the Yukon trail, is isolated in terms of his separation from civilization. Furthermore, in "An Episode of War," the protagonist, a lieutenant, is isolated in a terms of his medical condition. The protagonists' different forms of isolation effect them in differing ways. In "To Build a Fire" the protagonist makes bad decisions because he is far from civilization, and he wants to reach it. For example, before he stops to build the first fire, he realizes that it is colder than he has ever experienced before, but he does not do anything because he is only thinking about the fact that “at six o’clock he would be in camp with the boys.” This shows that the protagonist is not thinking about his well being, he is just thinking about reaching his friends. Another example is when he builds the second fire under the spruce tree then snow fell from the tree, and “the fire was blotted out." This example shows that the protagonist is not thinking straight because he built his fire in a bad place because he was focusing on getting to civilization, not surviving. In "An Episode of War", the protagonist is treated differently because of his injury. For example, when the protagonist is first…show more content…
For example, when the protagonist is first injured, he has trouble sheathing his sword until an orderly does it for him, and as the orderly does this he “did not allow even his finger to brush the body of the lieutenant". This shows that he is isolated by his injury because the orderly is afraid to touch him. Another example is when the lieutenant goes to the field hospital to fix his arm, the surgeon was happy to see him at first, but this changes when he “caught sight of the lieutenant's arm". This shows that the lieutenant is isolated by his wound because it puts him on a very low social
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