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Westward Expansion. Talks About People Moving West And Dealing What Natvies And The Harsh Weather.

921 words - 4 pages

Westward ExpansionHollywood's perspective of the western movement is full of daring heroes, crooked criminals, savage Indians, and undaunted frontiersmen braving the harsh conditions of the western wilderness. Typically, the portrayal of what life was like during that time in American history is often glamorized and full of stereotypes. The reality of the west was in fact very bleak, where the hero often lost and the role of the innocent was played by the so-called "savage Indian".In the story "To Build a Fire", a young man is traveling from the small Yukon town of Dyea to Henderson Creek in Alaska. This is not a glamorized Hollywood tale, but rather a realistic statement on how harsh life in the west could be. According to the author, the young man is quick and alert to things in life, but only in the things, and not the significances. As the young man walks through the shanty town of Dyea, he comes across an old man who begins talking to him. The young man is so self-absorbed, that he pays little attention to the advice of an old-timer. The old man warns him about the harsh weather coming and tells him that he should travel with a partner, if the temperature reaches fifty below. To the young man, fifty below zero was only fifty below zero and such a fact only impresses him as being cold and uncomfortable. He believes that he is more clever than the old-timer and also more knowledgeable about the weather. Ignoring the old man's suggestion he pushes on. Spitting onto the snow as he walks, he hears an explosive crackle. It startles him. His spit had frozen so quickly, that it made a loud pop! Undoubtedly it was colder than fifty below, but how much colder it was, he didn't know nor did he care. He continues his march and begins to sense the pins and needles of the cold stabbing his flesh. When the young man gets so cold that his fingers refuse to move, he tries to build a fire for warmth. His first attempt to light the fire fails, because of the arctic wind. His second try to light the fire also fails, because by now his fingers were frozen solid. In frustration, he ignites the entire pack of matches and throws them burning onto the kindling. As tries to gently lay sticks on the fire, a piece of moss falls into the center of the small fire he had created. Carefully, he tries to pull it out, but in the end he smothers the fire. He now knows that he is doomed.He begins to panic. In his panic, he starts to run, trying to get to the next town and escape the cold. As he runs, he begins to warm up, but...

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