Analysis of Jack London´s To Build a Fire

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Jack London was a prominent Bay Area author and he, himself, had a heuristic experience with the Alaskan wilderness, much like the main character in his short story “To Build a Fire”. The aforesaid main character, simply referred to as “the man” endured the harshness of Nature in the Yukon, firsthand, and is accurately told due to London’s past experience with similar settings. The man and his companion, the dog, were unnamed and this, therein, implies that they are symbols representing the aggregation of humanity and instinctual, animalistic thought. Through his short story, London conveys that both natural though, in the form of compulsion and natural tendency, coupled with logic that lacks arrogance compose the quintessential survival-based, and day-to-day, mindset.
The dog had instinct and the ability to recognize things outside of the man’s realm of though; however, its lack of intuition and ability to act adds flaw to its judgement. The dog cared only “for the welfare of itself”, and nothing more. This implies that instinct is based purely on survival, which aids in the phys...
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