To Build a Fire Essay

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Follow Your Instincts

In this particular short story, author Jack London introduces a man and a dog on foot traveling to reach a specific destination in very rigid temperatures in a sub-polar area. The man who is never named can be characterized as determined, full of procrastination, and downright naïve. At the beginning of the reading, the story starts off as an adventurous journey with a man and a dog who are trying to reach a location where the “boys” are by six o’clock. It does not seem at all that the man is worried about the very frigid weather which is over fifty degrees below zero. He seems to even be in denial at times about the weather conditions and his natural body reaction to such cold weather. He even was warned by an old man about the severe weather conditions.

At the beginning of the story the man and the dog went on a different route other than the Yukon trail to reach “the boys” not paying attention that there was no sun out. The sky was grey and gloomy and the weather was very cold. The man ignored his surroundings and kept on to his destination near Henderson Fork. The man’s determination is very much present throughout the story. The man neglects the unsafe environment and it is very clear that he is not a very experienced person when it comes to making life and death decisions. As the man walks through the snow, his nose and cheeks start to feel pretty numb, ice starts to form on his beard. Every breath that he takes more ice began to form. The dog that is with him is an Alaskan Husky which is familiar with that type of weather. Although familiar with such weather, the dog seems very unhappy and more knowledgeable of the situation than the man is. The man still continues to rub his cheeks and nose to keep warm realizing that it is cold but still not admitting that it was anything serious. He even begins to feel pain from his face but still ignores it as if it is not a big deal. Making sure that he does not run into any springs he...
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