Significance of “Dying” and “Death” in "To Build a Fire" The significance of the words "dying and death" in Jack London's 1910 novel, "To Build a Fire" continuously expresses the man's dwindling warmth and bad luck in his journey along the Yukon trail to meet "the boys" at camp. London associates dying with the man's diminishing ability to stay warm in the frigid Alaskan climate. The main characters predicament slowly worsens one level at a time finally resulting in death. The narrator informs the reader "the man" lacks personal experience travelling in the Yukon terrain. The old-timer warned the man about the harsh realities of the Klondike.
“To Build a Fire” tells of a man traveling in the extreme cold through the Yukon Territory. Before heading out on his journey, the man is warned not to travel alone in the extreme cold, but he travels any way. The man faces many hardships while on his journey. Despite his effort to stay warm and survive, the man freezes to death before he reaches his destination. The wolf-dog in the story studies the situation and knows that traveling is not a good idea.
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.
She is a decoy for the wolf pack, remarks Henry, luring the sled dogs away as food for the pack. After much discussion, the men decide it would be prudent to use some of the remaining ammunition to take care of the troublesome she-wolf. Left with only three dogs, the men start out the next morning only to meet more catastrophe as the sled overturns on a bad price of trail. Stuck between a tree trunk and a large rock, the men are forced to unleash the dogs to straighten the sled.
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”.
“The dog did Nevitt 2 not want to go” (297). In addition, he tries to kill the dog near the end in hopes keep warm. “He would kill the dog and bury his hands in the warm body until the numbness went out of them” (302). Both characters do have some similarities however, because both characters are warned, about the extremely cold weather conditions. The character in “To Build a Fire” is warned by a man in Sulphur Creek.
However, the men soon turn the team over to a mail carrier who forces the dogs to carry much heavier loads. In the midst of a particularly arduous trip, one of the dogs becomes ill, and eventually the driver has to shoot him. At the end of this journey, the dogs are exhausted, and the mail carrier sells them to a group of American gold hunters—Hal, Charles, and Mercedes. Buck’s new masters are inexperienced and out of place in the wilderness. They overload the sled, beat the dogs, and plan poorly.
Two outdoorsmen are out in the wild of the north. They are on a mission to deliver the body and coffin of a famous person. Their dogs disappear as they are entised by a she-wolf and eaten by the rest of the pack. They only have three rounds of ammunition left and Bill, one of the men, uses them to try to save one of their dogs that is being attacked; he misses and is eaten by the pack with the dog. Only Henry and two dogs are left; he makes a fire with leaves and scattered branches, trying to drive away the wolves.
After sitting her for awhile the snow that was on the tree above him falls on top of him because it had begun to melt from the snow. When the snow falls it gets him all wet and in the process puts out his fire. Aggravated, he gets up and begins to build another fire because he knows that he will have to dry out before he can leave. This is where the story goes bad because he is unable to start another fire and he ends up dying slowly while his dogs runs to the camp. Throughout this story there are many things that begin to make the reader’s mind start to pick out certain messages.
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.