To Build A Fire Analysis Essay

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“To Build a Fire”, one of Jack London's most redoubtable short stories, covers a man’s battle for survival in a frightening and intense depiction of a struggle packed journey through a harsh Canadian blizzard to a Yukon base camp, while proving that the man is a psychopath. London juxtaposes the clarity with which the narrator and the dog think with the chaotic assimilation of ideas that form the thought process of the man, by which London shows the mental instability of the man. This takes place by means of the use of the following writer’s craft tools: omniscience, voicing, and repetition. London writes from an omniscient point of view throughout the story, but gradually transitions the focus of the narration to demonstrate that the man is not a trustworthy character, is a pathological liar, and has a grandiose self-perception. All of these traits are demonstrated in the man’s repeated indication of his…show more content…
When one is left in a secluded environment, natural selection and perseverance force people to make rash decisions, and this can lead to mental instability as clearly demonstrated in the man’s actions and resulting behaviours. But one may question, why did London use such discreet means to convey what seems to be such an important trait of the character? London has used discreet and pattern based writer’s craft that requires close attention from the reader. A simple glimpse past the text would not reveal the world of psychological delusion and mental misconduct that can only be shown via subtle yet grandiose means. By using such methods to describe the mental state of the man, London is effectively enforcing similar means of insane behaviour on the reader, leading to moral questioning akin to the man’s thoughts in the
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