He also knows that "to permit the ice to remain would mean sore feet." The dog doesn’t know why, but it just obeys "the mysterious prompting that arose from the deep crypts of its being." While the dog may not have the intellectual capacity to create fire or food for itself, it instinctively knows where to go to find "the other food providers and fire providers". The dog shows extreme loyalty to the man and only when he "caught the scent of death" did he leave the man. Because the man does not pay attention to the "significances of life" and doesn't respect the power of the cold and mother nature he does not survive.
(London 397). A dog has instincts greater than man, especially when it comes to traveling in such treacherous conditions. The dog remains loyal and knew in order to survive, they must remain by the fire to prepare for the rest of their journey. The man, whose arrogance got the best of him, had no intention of staying with his dog. During the end of the short story the man realizes he’s never going to make it to the camp.
"Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey..." He repeats these phrases to redefine to his readers the impact the setting has on the lives of the characters. The gloominess of the setting instills feelings in the man and the dog, of a constant battle with this world of depression they are in. Being given no sense of imagination, the man is only gifted with his practical knowledge. He therefore is shown to lack the experience and thought to adapt to the conditions encompassing him. Typically, man never wants to deal with the reality, especially when it is unpleasant.
A bit painful, that was all; they were never serious.”(London 23). This quote shows how the man is not aware of the seriousness of his frosted cheeks. Ignorance of his frosted cheeks later contributes to his demise later in the story. This tells that to survive you have to be aware and alert of everything, so “To Build a Fire” shows lack of physical survival because the man is tr... ... middle of paper ... ...l survival. Two types of survival that were demonstrated in these stories were physical and mental.
The man not being on the dog’s side and listening to it got him in the last situation. He built his last fire underneath a tree and the snow melted and fell onto the fire and put it out. His ignorance and overconfidence in his survival skills and not trusting the instincts of the dog eventually led him to his death. In conclusion, the man thought he could travel the Yukon on his own even after the old man told him that it was not a good idea. He went through many obstacles, and the dog kept giving him warnings but the man’s ignorance and overconfidence got the best of him.
Except for one companion that he meets along the way, a dog. The dog is very silent and just goes along and watches the man try to survive when the worst happens. The man was earlier warned by an old timer how nature can make things more difficult. However, he did not listen to the man and later learned throughout the story that was a terrible mistake. The setting in the story was something that not people come into contact with.
He ignores the deathly cold temperature, while the dog whines and whimpers due to the extreme cold.” (London 2) The miner is warned not to travel in the extreme cold, but he ignores the warnings and travels anyway. “The protagonist eventually meets his demise because of his decision.” (London 12) Some Critics argue that the protagonist meets death because he panics because his inability to start a fire and find shelter. They feel that in his desperation for warmth he loses hope and self control. The man ponders on ideas for w... ... middle of paper ... ...nation. (Short Story Criticism) The cause of the protagonist harsh adventure begins because of his over confidence in him.
The fact of the matter is, nature would be just as cold without the man's presence regardless of him being there .The environment as a whole is completely indifferent to the man, as it frequently is in naturalist literature. The bitter environment does not aid him in any way, and it will not notice if he perishes. In the same way, the dog does not care about the man, only about itself. Ironically enough though, as the man was dying he was getting upset toward the dog because of its natural warmth, the instincts that it had, and its survival skills and those were the elements that the man lacked for survival. It is ironic that the man had to die in order to find out that man's fragile body cannot survive in nature's harsh elements, regardless of a human’s natural over-confidence and psychological strength.
In order for the dog to survive and the man to die, the dog required instinct, of which the man lacked. The man did acquire reason and observance but not good enough to allow him to reach his goal makes it subordinate to instinct. In the harsh environment of Yukon, Alaska, it determined what types of individuals both the man and dog were by pushing their limits. It is noticeable that the man has barely any control over his environment due to that he attempts to build a fire but fails at all times. The first time he builds his fire under the spruce trees, he does not evaluate the possibility of the snow falling from the tree onto the fire causing the fire to extinguish.
This would have been okay if he found other fatty animals, however, he was so caught up in his accomplishments of killing the animals, that he failed to realize that it was negatively affecting him until it was too late. He let his hubris get in the way of realizing that the food he was eating was not beneficial to his health in the long term of events. He was also egotistic in his thinking that he was well prepared to preserve large amounts of meat, “Maggots already! Smoking appears ineffective. Don’t know, looks like disaster” (Krakauer, 167).