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Analysis Of Jack London´S To Build A Fire

638 words - 3 pages

Jack London was a prominent Bay Area author and he, himself, had a heuristic experience with the Alaskan wilderness, much like the main character in his short story “To Build a Fire”. The aforesaid main character, simply referred to as “the man” endured the harshness of Nature in the Yukon, firsthand, and is accurately told due to London’s past experience with similar settings. The man and his companion, the dog, were unnamed and this, therein, implies that they are symbols representing the aggregation of humanity and instinctual, animalistic thought. Through his short story, London conveys that both natural though, in the form of compulsion and natural tendency, coupled with logic that lacks arrogance compose the quintessential survival-based, and day-to-day, mindset.
The dog had instinct and the ability to recognize things outside of the man’s realm of though; however, its lack of intuition and ability to act adds flaw to its judgement. The dog cared only “for the welfare of itself”, and nothing more. This implies that instinct is based purely on survival, which aids in the physical and emotional distress of harsh weather. In addition to survival, this instinct can be related to daily life when thought of in terms of self-sufficiency, where one helps himself to whatever they wish to do in order to be good. The dog was apprehensive towards traveling in the vitriolic, pounding snow, and that could have served as a exhortation to save the man’s life. Therefore, it is animals, not arrogant men, who heed Nature’s warnings, yet man can understand Nature through the medium of animal-kind. This aids humans to become peaceful and actually understand Nature, rather than destroying it, as is occurring today. Natural thought and instinct are helpful in situations of organic environment, but are not necessarily the best in times of intuition.
The man is ignorant yet logical, but to survive, he must imagine possibilities outside of his...

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