Jack London's To Build A Fire

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Darwinian Theme of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” Jack London in “To Build a Fire” uses contrast of characters, vivid imagery, and setting to portray the role that the unforgiving forces of nature play in evolution of species through natural selection. Jack lived near and most likely traveled the exact route that “the man” in the story had traveled. It is on record of a nearby claim that he filed for in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada on November, 5, 1897. A group of men set out to find his friend’s cabin that he was rumored to have stayed during his time in the Klondike. During their search for the cabin they hiked a path eerily similar to the one describe in the short story. The cabin was verified by experts to be the one Jack London…show more content…
London writes, “He was a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter.” The Chinook translation of cheechako is “a newcomer, stranger, literally "just came". Cheechako can also mean "tenderfoot", although this mild derisive context is later and more regional, being associated with the Klondike gold rush” (How to Speak Chinook). The people native to this land knew how to survive, but the protagonist of the story is a newcomer and is very unaware of how dangerous is can be. Even though he has information about the dangers, it is made clear that he does not grasp the significance of them. The protagonist was warned by the “old-timer” not to travel alone after fifty below, but “the man” scoffs at the ”old-timer” when things seem to be going well, it wasn’t until death was certain that he fully acknowledges the wisdom of the “old-timer.” It is made clear that the protagonist chose to travel alone, “He was bound for the old claim on the left fork of Henderson Creek, where the boys were already. They had come over across the divide from the Indian Creek country, while he had come the roundabout way to take a look at the possibilities of getting out logs in the spring.” It was a foolish mistake to make a dangerous trip alone that could have waited till spring. Natural selection weeds out risk takers in this country. He didn’t even pack a change of clothes or carry any
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