During the March 1986 edition of the Journal of Modern Literature, Lee Clark Mitchell of Princeton University opens his article “‘Keeping His Head’: Repetition and Responsibility in London’s ‘To Build a Fire’” by critiquing naturalism’s style of storytelling. Mitchell claims naturalism as a slow, dull, and plain way of capturing an audience; and Jack London is the epitome of this description. Mitchell states, “[London’s] very methods of composition prompt a certain skepticism; the speed with which he wrote, his suspiciously childish plots…have all convinced readers to ignore the technical aspects of h...
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...ne that when reading from an objective point of view the audience is able to place themselves in a similar position as the man. A story about man without a name and a face to visualize leaves only his personality for the readers to connect with. In “To Build a Fire” the man’s determination is the character of the story, through all the events that transpire he is still willing to meet his friends, “the boys”, by six o’clock. Although it took another writer’s opinion to help me comprehend the true intentions of London’s “To Build a Fire”, my appreciation for the piece has grown along with my understanding of what sets naturalism apart from other writing styles.
Mitchell, Lee Clark. "'Keeping His Head': Repetition And Responsibility In London's 'To Build A Fire.'." Journal Of Modern Literature 13.1 (1986): 76. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Feb. 2012.
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