Jack London's To Build A Fire

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The short story “To Build a Fire” written by Jack London is a tale of an unnamed man’s quest through the rough and rugged tundra of the Yukon on his way to Henderson Creek where he is to meet up with the “boys”. It is assumed that they are in search of gold but their intended purpose in the Yukon is never mentioned in the story. The weather is very frigid in the Yukon and the temperature is reported to be 75 below zero. The man is advised not to travel alone in these conditions by a native elder but the man dismisses his warning and sets off for his destination. The man is only accompanied by a large dog but the dog is not the man’s companion but rather he is providing some service to the man as a slave does for his master. The themes in this short story are many, but the most pronounced are one of human weakness against the sheer unforgiving power of mother nature and how arrogance can cause someone to be blinded to their better judgment and common sense. The author begins the story by setting the scene with the line ‘Day dawned cold and gray when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail”…show more content…
The man does not see any and at a locations the man deems safe, he falls through the ice. “He was wet to his knees before he got out of the water to the firm snow” (London, 71). The man becomes angry and curses his luck not because he instantly realizes the risks of being wet in such cold conditions but rather because of the delay this will have on his travel time. The man prepares a fire on top of a hill underneath some pine trees where he found some dried grass along with small and large branches to feed the fire. The man slowly and meticulously builds a fire to prevent the immature flames from snuffing out, because by now all feeling from his feet were gone and he realizes he needs to dry out his socks and
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