Jack London's To Build A Fire

Topics: Klondike Gold Rush, Jack London / Pages: 4 (941 words) / Published: May 29th, 2016
John Griffith Chaney, Jack London, was born on January 18, 1876 in San Francisco.
Jack London is most well-known for his novels Call of the Wild and White Fang. The novels and the short story “To Build a Fire” share a similar theme of survival in the wildernerness. London’s “To Build A Fire” is a story about a man and a dog traveling the Yukon trail. In the story the man is struggling to survive the harsh environment of the Klondike. “To Build a Fire” is a naturalistic story, influenced by scientific determinism as well as by Darwin’s theory of evolution because London was a socialist and a realist. Jack London traveled across Canada and Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Jack London’s time in the Klondike influenced the setting, characters,
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In the story London describes the harsh weather that he had experienced.London describes the weather as being -75 degrees, and the dangers of that weather. The man is travelling from one area of the Yukon to another camp. He is traveling alone except for a dog. London writes “The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not the significances. Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty-odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all” (To Build a Fire 27). The man does not understand the danger of this setting. Jack London’s time in the Klondike also influenced the conflict in “To Build a Fire”. Which is man vs. nature. The man has to get to camp before he freezes to death. He gets his feet wet, and can not start a fire. The man lacks the instincts and experience to survive, and he eventually freezes to death. “It did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man’s frailty in general, able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold, and from there it did not lead him to the conjectural field of immorality and the man’s place in the universe” (To Build a Fire 27). The man does not even think about what can happen to him in this environment, and he does not even think he can die in this

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