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...