This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Theme Of To Build A Fire

1274 words - 6 pages

The struggle between man and nature is a common theme in a lot of literary pieces. Some exaggerate the role of either nature or man; however, this tale exposes weaknesses of both sides and provides an interesting twist. Through the use of both flat and round characters, involved in a specific life changing event, will lead to a role reversal that proves nature will truly win out over nurture in some situations. Mr. London involves the reader and prepares the plot through specific uses of Character, Point of view and demonstrates his view on which will be the victor.
The two characters in this story are the old man and his wolf breed sled dog. The stories is told from the man’s point of view and immediately display him as the master of his situation. This character would be considered round because of the three dimensional aspect in which he describes him. He has a past, in which he describes him being new to the area. Because he is a green horn he isn’t sure of the risks that particular wilderness holds. Regretfully, he is also ignorant stating, “The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert of things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significance” (London 1058).
The character is presented in a fashion so that the reader can sympathize with his predicament. At the time when this story was written, their still exist those that remembered untamed frontiers the posed risk and danger to the average man, but this was no average man. He was an entrepreneur and explorer. The character was constructed with the same stuff the most Americans felt they were constructed with. However, he is flawed and his flaws are those provided to him by his parents, in his genes. The man can make it on his ability to control his environment, however that has limits. So when the man is put in a situation where he cannot think his way out, he succumbs to his environment, the nurture loses.
The other character in the book is the wolf breed sled dog. This is a flat yet dynamic character that starts off two-dimensional and ends a round character. The dog’s role is that of servant to his master. How the dog views the relationship with the man, is that of dependent and provider. The man provides the fire and food and the dog provides its services to man. The loyalty only lies with the provider, regardless of who the provider is. The dog goes through the same predicament as the man; however, the dog is better equipped to handle such a situation. Nature overcame in the scenario provided.
The relationship between the two characters is established on the premise of survival. The man explains how he doesn’t nurture the dog like a companion and even considers killing the dog, so as to keep his hands warm insides its carcass. The dog is nothing more than a means for the man. The situation changes once both of the characters get wet. The dog’s genetic composition has placed him in a...

Find Another Essay On The Theme of To Build a Fire

To Build A Fire Essay

1312 words - 6 pages Jack London is an American author, journalist, and social activist. When it is fifty degrees below zero, you are soaking wet, and you have just lost your last match…What will you do? To Build a Fire, one of London’s short stories, illustrates a man who leaves the Yukon trail alone to meet his companions on a day so cold that no man should travel. His only accompany is a big native husky who considered him a fire-provider. The man

To build a Fire Essay

1000 words - 4 pages The story “To Build a Fire” by jack London is one of the most famous stories of survival in the wilderness. The story is about a man leaving a camp to walk to another camp at a temperature of 75 degrees below zero, with an Alaskan husky dog as a companion. The story takes place in the past and was written in 1908. The man in the story is purposely not given a reputation, as the deterministic environment is additional more necessary than his free

“To Build a Fire”

890 words - 4 pages “To Build a Fire” is a short story written by Jack London. It is viewed as a masterpiece of naturalist fiction. “To Build a Fire” features a miner who is traveling to the Yukon Territory with a dog as his companion. The miner is the protagonist and the dog companion is called the foil. The dog plays off of the traits of the protagonist. “The central motif of “To Build a Fire” concerns the struggle of man versus nature.” (Short Story Criticism

To Build a Fire

1185 words - 5 pages To build a fire is a short story written by Jack London. It is a story about an individual’s choice. The main character’s self-centeredness overcomes him, as he tries to survive the wintery weather in his travel in the Yukon Trail. He made a choice of ignoring the weather warnings, which evidenced danger in his journey. There were warnings like the absence of fellow travelers due to the cold season, but his egoism made him still embark on the

To Build A Fire

579 words - 2 pages 'To Build a Fire';      In Jack London's, 'To Build a Fire';, it is obvious to see that as the story progresses, the man becomes more bestial. However at the same time the dog seems to gain the human quality of good sense. This quality of good sense, which the dog acquires, allows it to away from the same fate of the man. There are many examples of how this is portrayed as the story makes headway.   &nbsp

To build a fire

634 words - 3 pages "To Build a Fire" In Jack London's, "To Build a Fire", it is obvious to see that as the story progresses, the man becomes more bestial. However at the same time the dog seems to gain the human quality of good sense. This quality of good sense, which the dog acquires, allows it to away from the same fate of the man. There are many examples of how this is portrayed as the story makes headway. The first example of how the man becomes

"To Build A Fire"

379 words - 2 pages After comparing/contrasting the movie and the short story versions of "To Build a Fire", the story version is a more effective art form. If you take the story and the book, of course stories are more detailed. Movies are too, but not as much as stories. Stories are more understandable. Because you can go back and read it, if you don't understand.The difference between the story and the movie was the story was more detailed and descriptive. It

To Build a Fire

943 words - 4 pages characters very open. Also the setting in this story does not have many details at all. I think the main message in To Build a Fire written by Jack London is perseverance in the characters for the man to keep going in the freezing weather, the dog to not curl up and die and the man he tried so hard to make it to the camp and at least tried to get there. In To Build a Fire by Jack London the main character in the story showed a lot of perseverance to

to build a fire

1093 words - 4 pages      Interpretation “To Build a Fire”      In the story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, a man is travelling through the klondike in Alaska to find his friends, "the boys". Because the man is only quick and alert to the things of life and not the significance, he finds himself in some very bad circumstances. The man experiences several instances of bad luck such as getting

To Build a Fire

1679 words - 7 pages Author Jack London wrote "To Build a Fire," the heart-wrenching story of a man's struggle to overcome the power of nature in the most extreme temperatures. Throughout his journey along the trail in the Yukon, he underestimates nature and overestimates himself. Almost immediately his fate is revealed when London writes, "But all this---the mysterious, far-reaching hair-line trail, the absence of sun from the sky, the tremendous cold, and

"To Build A Fire" Analysis

805 words - 4 pages The story “To Build A Fire” written by Jack London has two nearly identical versions published in 1902 and 1908 respectively. The latter is better-known and more thought-provoking because of the antagonist’s death. To begin with, the adventure took place on an extremely cold day in Klondike, consisted of a man and his dog. The man was not afraid of cold and felt confident about travelling alone at fifty degrees below zero. However, he broke

Similar Essays

The Existential Theme Of London’s To Build A Fire

1340 words - 5 pages The Existential Theme of London’s “To Build A Fire"           Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” is the tragic tale of a man who decides to travel alone through the hostile environment of the Yukon in sub-freeing temperatures and falls victim to the unrelenting and unforgiving power of nature. During his journey, the man gets his feet wet as he falls through the ice into the water of a hot spring (London 122). Because of the

The Theme Of Jack London's "To Build A Fire"

572 words - 2 pages The significance of the words 'dying and death' in Jack London's 1910 novel, 'To Build a Fire' continuously expresses the man's dwindling warmth and bad luck in his journey along the Yukon trail to meet 'the boys' at camp. London associates dying with the man's diminishing ability to stay warm in the frigid Alaskan climate. The main characters predicament slowly worsens one level at a time finally resulting in death.The narrator informs the

An Analysis Of The Main Theme Presented Within Jack London’s Text To Build A Fire

1265 words - 6 pages human beings and nature, a relationship that ends with the death of a fairly ignorant man. London’s story allows us to see that despite the fact that a man perished at the hands of nature, the world did not pause for even a moment to commemorate this death. Jack London’s text To Build a Fire displays a theme that very strictly illustrates the fact that humanity is by far the least significant being to exist on this Earth. The fact that the man

Comparing The Two Versions Of To Build A Fire

1094 words - 4 pages Comparing the Two Versions of To Build a Fire   "I am absolutely confident that beyond the motif itself, there is no similarity of treatment whatever" (544). Jack London, writing in December 1908, was responding to an inquiry from the Richard W. Gilder, editor of Century Magazine. Gilder, having just published "To Build a Fire" in his magazine, was worried when he came across another version published 6 years earlier. London's