Use Of Point Of View In Jack London's To Build A Fire

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Stories are all told from different perspectives and told from several points of view. In some stories, the story is not told by any of the characters, but rather from an omniscient viewpoint. In literature, choosing a point of view is one of the most important pieces in telling a story. It is through the point of view that the readers experience a story. In Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” he utilizes an omniscient point of view in order to add to the impact of his story. An omniscient point of view is told from a “god-like” viewpoint in which the narrator knows all the thoughts and feelings of the characters in the story.
London’s story demonstrates a conflict between a man and the natural world. The main characters in this story are
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The cold, however, does not disconcert the man. The omniscient narrator makes judgments about the man and his decisions. The narrator suggests to us that the “trouble” with the man is that he is “quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances,” (629). In other words, the man knows that it is cold and that he feels uncomfortable, but he does not think about his “frailty as a creature of temperature,” (629). The man does not acknowledge that he is tiny and weak compared to the natural world that surrounds him. The man plans to meet a group of boys at a mining camp and he does not let the cold keep him from traveling to his destination. The narrator contrasts the man’s thoughts with the dog’s thoughts. Unlike the man, the dog “knew that it was not time for traveling,” (630). The omniscient point of view allows us to get into the dog’s mind to see what he is thinking. We are also clearly able to see the main difference between the man and the dog. The dog is guided by his natural instincts, and the man, on the other hand, relies on his human judgment to make
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