Jack London Questions and Essay on "To Build a Fire"

Topics: Survival of the fittest, Jack London, Nature Pages: 4 (1364 words) Published: March 1, 2013
Emiliano Cruz-Barrera
English 3
1. What does "survival of the fittest" mean, and where does the phrase come from? “Survival of the fittest” means that species or race with the best acquired characteristics would survive. And the phrase comes from one of the authors that most influenced London, Herbert Spencer.

2. What is socialism? Why was London attracted to it?
Socialism is an economic system in which the means of prediction are owned and controlled by the working class. And London was attracted to it because of his experience in life gave him an insight into the terrible effects of poverty on people who had no political power.

3. What is social Darwinism? What were its origins and how did London interpret this philosophy? Social Darwinism was a late 19th century sociological theory which was primarily based on the writings of Herbert Spencer, which they originated from his writings as well. And London interpret this philosophy, London interpreted his philosophy as thinking that the Anglo-axon where superior to everyone. PART 2

1. What is the setting of the story?
The story “to build a fire” takes place in Yukon in Northwestern Canada, in the winter when the man starts out to make his way to a mining camp at like around 9 AM in the morning and whatnot.

2. What is the central conflict of the story? What is the source of the struggle?

The central conflict of the story is that the man is stuck and lost out in the wild, and he is rapidly catching frost bite on his body(fingers and hands) and he is trying to survive without a companion out in the wild, and I think the source of the struggle is that he didn’t have a companion that could have helped him throughout the story because he felt like he didn’t need one, even though he was told that it is unsafe to go out in those lands without a companion.

3. What happens to Tom Vincent at the end of the story? What does he learn? At the end of the story Tom Vincent finally gets a fire...
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