To Build a Fire
This story is by American author Jack London. The story is considered a prime example of the naturalist movement and of a Man vs. Nature conflict. It is also considered to be a reflection of his own life after his experiences in the Yukon Territory. This story demonstrates negative interactions because the man has not and does not prepare him for this journey. He is not respectful of the nature he can’t control, and he ignores the advice of those far more experienced than he. He even ignores the sharper, more instinctive actions of his companion the dog. The story also demonstrates how man is a creature of intellect and dog is a creature of instinct. Ignoring advice about travelling alone in the brutal Alaskan winter, the man begins his journey with his dog. Never realizing the ramifications of exposure to such brutal weather when temperature are fifty degrees below freezing he pushes forward, thinking he can beat nature and each the camp of dunk. It also demonstrates to the reader that no matter how confident or determined one is in their pursuit of a goal, in the end it is fate that determines one’s destiny. Man has no control over the final outcome, try as we may. The end of the story is the man attempts to turn his dog into a sleeping bag but the dog will have none of it. The dog really hates this guy. The man freezes to death. The dog sticks around to be sure this guy is dead and then goes on his way. Once again, Man has no control over the final outcome, try as we may.
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