To Build a Fire Summary

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To build a fire; a short story written by Jack London, resides in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Yukon Territory, Alaska. There are only two characters in this story which are a Man and a Husky dog. The man is a know it all as well as new to the Yukon trail; while the husky is wise and understands the environment. An old man from Sulphur Creek warned the man that no person should travel alone when the temperature reaches fifty degrees below zero. The man decided to set out at nine am along the Yukon river one morning with the husky in the hopes of reaching his companions at a campsite on the left fork of Henderson creek around six pm. Though it is nine in the morning the sun is not up and will not show itself for a few days. He stops and looks back after going on for a little while when he describes everything being white except the “dark hairline.” This was the main trail that goes on until reaching the Bering Sea. He is then described as a Chechaquo, since this is his first winter there. As the man’s walking he spits casually then is startled by a strange crackling sound. He continues to spit; every time he does so the spit dissolves in the air before hitting the snow. At fifty below the spit will dissipate when it comes in contact with snow. This spit, however, doesn’t even make it to the ground. The man knows the weather must be more severe than minus fifty, in fact it’s closer to seventy-five below zero. The man keeps moving not thinking twice of retreating back where he came. He considers himself more rugged than the old man and refers to him as “womanly.” The man is separated from “The Boys” because he took the roundabout way to look at the possibility of logging on the Yukon islands in the spring. To me this man is very naive and hot headed to come into an extremely dangerous environment and dismiss all advice given to him. The Husky, on the other hand, was instinctively prepared for this. The dog doesn’t want to travel because it...