To Build A Fire And The Most Dangerous Game Analysis

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The struggle of man versus nature long has dwelt on the consciousness of humanity. Is man an equal to his environment? Can the elements be conquered or only endured? We constantly find ourselves facing these questions along with a myriad of other questions that cause us to think, where do we fit? These questions, crying for a response, are debated studied and portrayed in both Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. Throughout both stories, we see the settings, the Yukon in “To Build a Fire” and an island in the south Atlantic in “The Most Dangerous Game”, both raw untamed wildernesses, take a toll on the main characters in a very different fashion. We see in “To Build a Fire” that the man is constantly…show more content…
When Rainsford falls from the boat Connell describes Rainsford’s primal attempt for survival in animalistic terms stating that he “Doggedly… swam in that direction [of the Island] …with slow deliberate strokes” (Connell,3). Rainsford did not swim mechanically, nor artistically or even in a human fashion, in his desperation, he swam like a dog. Connell, by describing Rainsford’s swimming as dogged, shows that in dire circumstances, even the most rational and trained person, here characterized by Rainsford, resorts to animalistic behavior. This assertion becomes even stronger as the story goes on, when Zaroff finds Rainsford for the first time “The Cossack was the cat; [Rainsford] was the mouse. Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror” (Connell, 12). Striving to survive, Rainsford thought of himself as a cornered animal, and behaved accordingly, he shows that once man is no longer the hunter but the hunted that we act just like prey by hiding, fleeing or scrambling away from our predator. Finishing his story with what he started, Connell shows that humans, just like jaguars “understand one thing--fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death."(Connel,1). One of the only consistencies we see in humans, is the fact that we will all fight or fly in due to fear. Rainsford, as the personification of humanity, fled his predator, which shows us that we truly…show more content…
Fire, throughout the story represents positive feelings, it says “With the protection of the fire’s warmth… For the moment, the cold had been forced away” (London,7). The Cold, the closest thing this story has to an antagonist, cannot prevail against the fire. All the most basic aspects of life are guarded by the presence of fire, when fire is gone life becomes difficult and eventually impossible. Furthermore, fire becomes an urgent need, we read “When it is seventy-five below zero, a man must not fail in his first attempt to build a fire—that is, if his feet are wet" (London, 8). Generally, building a fire is not that big of a problem, but with wet feet the man’s life depended upon the life giving essence of

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