Lord Of A Fire, By Jack London Essay

Lord Of A Fire, By Jack London Essay

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Jack London 's "To Build a Fire" is a tragic story of a man who embarks on a journey through the frigid cold on the Yukon Trail during a brutal winter and is faced with battling the power of nature. We are shown a man who begins his journey, accompanied by a wolf-dog that follows, with all the confidence in the world, only to quickly end, not just his travels, but also his life. London uses many elements of naturalistic literature to tell his story. The theme of man versus nature, as well as survival, is our first evidence of this. He also concentrates on narrative as opposed to character to make his point that we are nothing in the eyes of nature. Determinism is another theme used that is extremely important. Naturalism, in all, is a type of extreme realism that is built on the idea that environment determines and governs human character. "To Build a Fire" is a classic example of naturalistic literature and shows that, if humans are not careful, nature will defeat them.
The overall theme of this story is that of man versus nature. As the narrator begins the story, it is quickly apparent that this is a tale of a man in a harsh situation facing off against the elements of the natural world. The man is facing temperatures that are 75 degrees below zero and has no experience with such extreme conditions. He is at risk of freezing in this environment and survival, as opposed to trying to achieve his goal of striking it rich by mining for gold and meeting his friends by 6 o 'clock, becomes his main concern. As he travels, the man makes many mistakes along the way that decide his fate.
The belief of Darwinism, survival of the fittest, is heavily touted in this story and is signature of naturalism. Throughout the tale, we are shown ...


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...aracter to, once again, show us that man is small and meaningless in comparison to the powerful world around him.
The use of third person narration adds to this feeling of distance from the character. Alongside not using in-depth character description, this type of narration disconnects us from the man. Since the reader does not learn much about the man and is told the story from this point of view, London can establish the idea that the man is arrogant and foolish and lead the reader to understand why the man loses against nature.
Naturalism holds two conflicting views that human behavior is the result determinism and free will. Both are heavily present in London 's narrative. Determinism conveys that a human 's environment determines the way that they act, and more importantly, their fate. On the other hand, free will says the person has control of their fate.

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