Jack London's To Build a Fire

1091 Words5 Pages
Jack London's To Build a Fire In his short story entitled "To Build a Fire," Jack London portrays a bitter conflict between man and nature. The nature in this story is the harsh environment of the Yukon Trail. London chose to use nature as the antagonist, almost as a force working against the main character in his struggle for survival. London accomplished this personification of nature by giving the environment many human characteristics, by creating numerous things going wrong that really should not have happened, and by foreshadowing the protagonist's fate all throughout the story. The author used such a struggle with man versus nature in many of his stories. He liked to portray a sort of struggle for survival, a rising up against the odds, theme to appeal to the masses at the time. He wrote passionately about the many tough questions of life and death, the struggle to survive while retaining one's sense of dignity and integrity, and he wove these fundamental themes into stories of high adventure based on his own firsthand experiences, whether it was trying to tough out a storm in Alaska or out at sea, or working in a factory or in the fields in California (California State Park Historians 1). Jack London gives the environment many human characteristics. During the entire story, the reader gets a feeling of the man being challenged by the "threats" that are placed in front of him by the Yukon Trail. "â?¦The mysterious, far-reaching hairline trail, the absence of sun from the sky, the tremendous cold, and the strangeness and weirdness of it all-made no impression on the man" (London 116). Nature also throws some potent... ... middle of paper ... ...pened, and by foreshadowing the protagonist's fate all throughout the story. In the end, however, the antagonist of this story wins, proving to the man that it is the stronger of the life forces. Works Cited California State Park Historians. "Jack London - His Life and Books." February 9, 2003. http://www.parks.sonoma.net/JLStory.html "John Griffith London." Contemporary Authors Online. Literature Resource Center. GaleNet. Lake-Sumter Community Coll. Lib., Leesburg, FL. 9 Feb. 2003 http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC?c=1&stab=128&ai=55459&ste=9&docNum=H1000061094&bConts=16047&tab=4&vrsn=3&ca=1&tbst=arp&ST=jack+london&srchtp=athr&n=10&locID=lincclin_lscc&OP=contains#Writings London, Jack. "To Build a Fire." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. United States: Longman, 2002. 117-128.
Open Document