Even though the miner in “To Build a Fire” eventually panics after being unable to start a fire, he struggles in the wilderness of the Yukon Territory and ultimately finds his death due to ignorance caused by a lack intuition and imagination. Contrary to the idea of the miner dieing because of lack of intuition and imagination, critics say that he dies because of panic (Short Story Criticism). The theory of the miner dieing because of panic is faulty. Evidence shows that the miner panics, but he does not do so until the end of the story. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
London wrote that the cold "did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man's frailty in general, able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold. "(p.1745) At first when the man started his journey to the camp, he felt certain that he could make it back to camp before dinner. As the trip progressed, the man made mistake after mistake that sealed his fate. The man's first mistake was to step into a pool of water and soak his legs to the knees. This blunder forced the man to build a fire to dry his wet socks and shoes so his feet would not freeze and become frostbitten.
Author Jack London wrote "To Build a Fire," the heart-wrenching story of a man's struggle to overcome the power of nature in the most extreme temperatures. Throughout his journey along the trail in the Yukon, he underestimates nature and overestimates himself. Almost immediately his fate is revealed when London writes, "But all this---the mysterious, far-reaching hair-line 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" (977). The man is new to the area and he does not realize the danger of this journey. Despite the man's carelessness, the reader hopes his rescuers will come.
Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” is a story about a man who travels only alongside a husky through the frigid conditions of the Yukon, and becomes a victim to Mother Nature. The man was warned before hand by an old man that he should not travel alone through the frigid Yukon. He ignored the old man’s advice and tried to prove to him that he would be able to cross the Yukon on his own. As the man traveled he was able to recognize the dangerous conditions around him and notice what it was doing to his extremities. Still he made no effort to slow down which resulted in his death.
The repetition of the man’s failure to build a fire eliminates his unforeseen survival. As the man begins his journey and builds his first fire he contemplates the old timers’ advice about never traveling alone. He thought to himself about the icy temperatures and the severity of the cold that’s freezing his cheeks and nose. The author describes “a fire, snapping and cackling and promising life with every dancing flame” giving the man aspiration to live (London 393). The repetition of the fire and the metaphor used in this quote shows the significance of the fire.
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. The man in the story is making a nine-hour trek across the frozen Yukon with only his dog in the biting cold, but after many calamities he freezes to death. He knew he was going to die if he didn’t get warm soon enough, but the cold got the best of him by freezing his arms.