Opinion Essay About the Story ‘to Build a Fire’ by Jack London

Topics: Yukon, Jack London, Short story Pages: 2 (545 words) Published: May 22, 2013
Opinion essay about the story ‘To build a fire’ by Jack London. ‘To build a fire’ is a psychological story generally about the struggle of a man with himself and with the nature of Yukon. And it has forced me to think about my attitude to life. But now I’d like to reflect on how might the story have been different if the man had treated his dog like a pet! “To build a fire” is a marvelous short story set in the Yukon. The opening setting is the early morning and the middle of winter somewhere in the Yukon. The man is on his way to the camp and the only companionship he got is his dog – “a big native husky, the proper wolf-dog, gray-coated and without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf”. We might think that if the man had travelled with the dog, nothing dangerous or tragic would have happened. But this is an intrigue of the story. From the very beginning the chechaquo started making mistakes. As the man was a newcomer in the land and this was his first winter, he wasn’t prepared to travel in the wilderness by himself. The man was arrogant about nature and had no fear of the cold. That was his main mistake. He made everything that the man could do, to kill himself. His careless behaviour to the dog forced it to keep away from his owner. The dog could be the support and the helper for the man. It had inherited the knowledge of cold. “And it knew that it was not good to walk abroad in such fearthful cold”. But the man paid no attention to the dog. He only forced it to go forward and spoke to her with the sound of whip-lashes. But why did he behave like that? Maybe because he was self-confident or because “he was quick and alert in the things of life but not in the significances”. In general, it doesn’t matter why. At the end of the story we see that old-timer on Sulfur Creek was alive because he was experienced and benefitted from others’ experiences, that it was not wise to travel alone in the Yukon, the boys at camp were also...
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