What Makes A Struggle In Jack London's To Build A Fire

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In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”, a man wanders alone through the Yukon with nobody else except his instinctive dog. The man, a survival rookie, after a fall through ice desperately tries to do what the title says. Failing to do so (multiple times), the man dies; his dog, being more intuitive, makes it to the camp his owner was struggling to arrive at. Almost a century later, Laurence Gonzales wrote “Deep Survival”, an article describing the similarities between survival stories Gonzalez had read over decades of extensive research and illuminates points for the reader to follow in a survival situation. Perhaps if the man in London’s story had read Gonzalez’s article, he might have swerved around mistakes that would eventually lead to his passing. One reason the main character died is because he did not follow the trait of perception. In his crisis, he did not realize the severity of his situation. First, he does not…show more content…
For the man in “To Build a Fire”, an active mind is a commodity he does not own. First, he has no imagination and fails to see the greater significances in minute details. As aforementioned, the cold was nothing but cold for the man; “That there should be anything more to it than that was a thought that never entered his head” (London 78). This here-and-now objectivity explains the surprise the man receives from the realization of his numb extremities. Furthermore, London implicitly states that the man had “never given much to thinking” and was even empty of thoughts (London 80). There are no examples of the man using any of the suggestions in Gonzalez’s article, such as singing a few tunes or reciting poetry (Gonzalez 97). Gonzalez would likely agree that if the man had given more of himself to the humanities, he would have a higher probability of beating the wicked Mother
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