To Build a Fire

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“To Build a Fire”
Have you ever been cold? Unless you have been to the Arctic Circle you have probably never been as cold as the main character in To Build a Fire by Jack London, he was so cold that he dies. To understand how this can happened and how you can avoid it, first we will look at where the man was traveling, then by what means he was traveling, and finally what went wrong to cause the man to meet his unfortunate death. But first we must know where the man was trying to reach. The main character was heading towards Henderson Creek, to meet up with his friends. He was bound to meet his friends around six o’clock. “The boys would be there, a fire would be going, and a hot supper would be ready.” (London page 64). He would have gone with his friends to the camp but “They had come over across the divide from the Indian Creek country, while he had come the round-about way to take a look at the possibilities of getting out logs in the spring from the islands in the Yukon” (London page 64). Next we will see how he was traveling. He had gone the long way around, separate from his friends. He was on foot walking by himself. “At the man’s heels trotted a dog, a big native husky, the proper wolf-dog, gray-coated and without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf.” (London page 65) This was his only companion on this journey. The tail on which he was walking was unclear. “A foot of snow had fallen since the last sled had passed over, and he was glad he was without a sled, traveling light.” (London page 65). When all seems well something has to go wrong. Finally we will see what went wrong. “As he turned to go on, he spat speculatively. There was a sharp, explosive crackle that startled him. He spat again. And again in the air, before it could fall to the snow the spittle crackled.” (London page 64) This could only mean that it was below negative fifty degrees, as for how much colder was unclear. He was profoundly observant and he...
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