The dog plays off of the traits of the protagonist. “The central motif of “To Build a Fire” concerns the struggle of man versus nature.” (Short Story Criticism) The most argued point in the short story is the reason of the protagonist death. “Some critics believe that it was his lack of intuition and imagination that lead to his death, while others say that he dies because of panic.” (Short Story Criticism) The protagonist in “To Build a Fire” struggles in the wilderness of the Yukon and ultimately finds his death because he lacks intuition and imagination. “To Build a Fire” centralizes on a miner traveling to meet up with fellow miners. He does not make this journey with a fellow miner.
Immediate, acting solely of instinct, the dog begins to chew the ice off of his feet. Further down the trail a similar incident happens, but this time the man falls into the spring. In order to keep his feet from freezing he has to build a fire. The first attempt to build a fire is flawed by the location the man chose under a tree. After the man is unable to light a second fire because of the loss of dexterity in his fingers, he becomes panicked and blindly runs, until totally exhausted, and dies.
At the beginning of his journey the miner shows ... ... middle of paper ... ...he danger of the journey, but the man is unaware of the harshness of the environment and continues onward in the journey. In this short story there is a connection between the miner’s death and his lacking intellect. The Story’s ending shows the lack of intuition by the man falling into the sleep of death, and the superior intuition of the wolf-dog sensing death coming on the poor miner, and heading off to find the cabin of the miner’s comrades. The miner ultimately dies because of his lack of decisions he makes on his journey in the Yukon Territory. Works Cited To Build a Fire, Jack London - Introduction."
Unfortunately for the man, he slipped into the icy water which instantly caused his legs and feet to turn into ice. Getting a fire started is his only option to save him. He made two attempts to build a fire, but the weather condition and the snow made it impossible. The cold caused excruciating ache and throbbing pain in his fingers, hands, and feet and he is unable to start another fire because of his hands becoming numb and with the inability to move them. Russell Hillier in Crystal Beards and Dantean Influence in Jack London 's "to Build a Fire (II) states “In his last ditch effort to destroy man 's best friend and use its very lifeblood and vital warmth in order to save his own skin”.
In “To Build a Fire” the man is facing freezing temperatures and in “Sea Devil” the man is being pulled and swept along by a Manta Ray. These stories illustrate that to survive you need to always be thinking of what to do and know that every small decision can have huge effects. Two types of survival used were mental and physical; characters in both these stories have to overcome mental and physical challenges. In “To Build a Fire” it shows how not to survive and to lead to one’s demise. One example of this is that the man is very ignorant to his surroundings and how they can contribute to his survival or demise.
People always tell you to listen to your gut. However, all goes wrong for the poor character in Jack London’s (1876-1916) To Build a Fire when he wants to trust his gut. In the story, a mountain man explains to him how dangerous it is to venture out alone in incredibly freezing circumstances. Being the confident man that he is, he did not listen to the advice. It soon turns into a story of a man’s lonely road to try to survive.
The numbing cold proved so chilling that the man could not even spit without the spit freezing. “He knew that at fifty below spittle crackled on the snow, but this spittle had crackled in the air."(604). That deadly force of nature goes on to further challenge the man, preventing him from continuing his goal. "At a place where there were no signs, where the soft unbroken snow seemed to advertise solidity beneath, the man broke through."(608). At this point in the story, nature overtakes the man, a conflict that directly stops him from achieving his goal, establishing nature as an external conflict providing the man with a struggle.
Nature's scorn is shown when the central character, after passing through the foremost dangerous areas of "ice springs," thinks that he’s home free. Then he stepped one pace forward into a puddle of shallow water that goes up to his knees, and gets frostbite on his feet and loses his matches. When the man thinks that he is home free again and his fire is started and will soon be drying him, it’s put out by snow on the same tree that has given him the bra... ... middle of paper ... ...eaths of iron halfway to the knees and the moccasin strings were like rods of steel all twisted and knotted” and “a good idea, he thought, to sleep off the death it was like taking an aesthetic.” In conclusion the story is about a man’s struggle to make it in 75 below temp and making a fire is the only way for him to survive. London shows the theme of ruggedness by how the man seems to have no fear of a temperature of fifty below zero. The story teaches the readers that even though we may want to travel alone in the outdoors, we should always travel with some friends or stay within our limits.
To build a fire is a short story written by Jack London. It is a story about an individual’s choice. The main character’s self-centeredness overcomes him, as he tries to survive the wintery weather in his travel in the Yukon Trail. He made a choice of ignoring the weather warnings, which evidenced danger in his journey. There were warnings like the absence of fellow travelers due to the cold season, but his egoism made him still embark on the journey alone, despite the warnings.
His trip begins well enough, yet soon becomes disastrous when he breaks through the ice and wets himself up to the waist. He is more angry than worried as he begins to build a fire to dry his wet boots and socks. His arrogance shows when he thinks to himself, “Those old-timers were rather womanish.” Due to a grave mistake on his part of building the fire under a tree branch overburdened with fresh snow, his fire is doused out when the heat collapses the branch. His extremities are already numb from the cold and he lacks the dexterity to light another fire so begins to run in an effort to get to his companions camp as well as increase his circulation enough to warm up.