To Build A Fire, By Jack London

537 Words3 Pages
“To Build a Fire” by Jack London is an ideal example of man versus nature. The story focuses on the journey of the protagonist and a dog through the cold frigid Yukon Valley in Canada. In this short story, London narrates the downfall of an egotistical man that disregarded the unpredictability of Mother Nature through his sense of invincibility, lack of respect for Mother Nature, and unforeseeable brutal reality of Mother Nature. In the literature, the protagonist can be perceived as being arrogant and overconfident with little to no regards to warnings. Early on, the protagonist demonstrates poor judgment by ignoring all warnings. His companion dog displayed more rationality than the protagonist himself. For example, “The animal was worried by the great cold. It knew that this was no time for traveling. It’s own feeling was closer to the truth than the man’s judgment”(pg 66). Despite his understanding of facts, the protagonist convinced himself that he is undoubtedly superior to mother nature. To better illustrate this point, “Fifty degrees below zero meant 80 degrees of frost. Such facts told him that it was cold and uncomfortable, and that was all. It did not lead him to consider his weaknesses as a…show more content…
The protagonist was unable to appreciate the force of nature. To best support this claim, “The trouble with him was he was unable to imagine. He was quick and ready in the things of life, but only in the things and not in their meanings.”(pg.65) Due to his lack of knowledge, he was unable to appraise the harsh realities of the dangerous elements Mother Nature set forth. For example, “That man from Sulphur Creek had spoken the truth when telling how cold it sometimes got in this country. And he had laughed at him at the time! That showed one must not be too sure of things.”(pg.70) This depicts the protagonist’s lack of appreciation and respect for Mother
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