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Literary Themes In Jack London And To Build A Fire

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In literature, the faintest of details gives insight to very complex themes, ideas and narrative purposes. Whether it is the environment going along with the story’s tone or completely contrasting it, eyes or body language providing hints as to the true nature of characters’ emotions or intentions, or the tone that the narrator imbues into the story, foreshadowing events to clue readers in on what will happen.
These three literary devices help to get the reader to see the author’s point of view on whatever they are trying to convey in their writing. Two stories that follow these three literary devices to help express their various themes, motifs, and symbolism are “To Build a Fire” by Jack London and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery
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This is used to indicate how far characters have progressed on their journey as well as to show emotions that are otherwise deliberately obfuscated by the author. London’s story provides more through body language for both the hiker and the husky that accompanies him. The body language of the hiker in the story reflects the resilience, perseverance, and hard-headedness that encompasses his foolishness and pride. The dog in London’s story is a husky, which London believed symbolized both civilization and wilderness. This husky values what his instincts over his pride and serves as a counterbalance to the hiker to show how out disillusioned of nature the hiker is. This yin and yang of body language between the husky and the hiker throughout the story displays how London wanted to give the reader something to compare the absurdity of the hiker’s desire to hike nine miles through negative 150 degree weather just to get to his buddies in the lodge with the self-preservation and rational instinct of the husky as well as to not desensitize us to the hiker’s irrational decisions. While in Conner’s story, body language and tone support each other in hiding the true nature of characters in her story and the eyes and actual actions of the characters are meant to actually reveal what the body language and tone conceal. One prime example is how the…show more content…
Connor’s story was filled to the brim with foreshadowing about what was going to happen, even from the first page, but she used this to her advantage by having contrasting environment descriptions hide her foreshadowing in plain sight, or at least create a very effective air of suspense and uneasy safety. She also builds on that suspense by switching the atmosphere of the story from safe, but slightly ominous to scared and isolated. When she switches to scared and isolated, Conner reveals the foreshadowing that the tone was keeping up and still keeps up positive environmental imagery, but delving here and there into terrifying imagery to keep the reader on their feet and also assure them the reality of the situation. Unlike Conner’s story, London does uses foreshadowing in a different way. Instead of hinting constantly what the end result may be, the reader is able to infer the hiker’s fate through the reveal of the hiker’s character as it is revealed more and more throughout the story. London also shows foreshadowing by thorough descriptions of the hiker’s declining bodily health such as when the hiker took accidentally falls under broken snow and gets himself wet from the knees down (129) or when he burns his hand to a crisp and doesn’t feel it (132). Both London and Conner deliver tones that are effective in how they confer to the reader, both the characters views on their situations and
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