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To Build A Fire

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To Build A Fire
During the early twentieth century, there was a popular naturalist movement that portrayed the conflict between man versus nature. Jack London’s thrilling short story “To Build a Fire” demonstrates this conflict with the story of a lone traveler as he makes his way up the Yukon in despicable conditions. His journey through the winter tundra is treacherous and life-threatening, but despite the danger he boldly continues his journey until he physically cannot move. London’s masterpiece is an excellent assistant in proving why nature is far more powerful than any single human being could ever be. In “To Build a Fire,” London uses the setting of the bitterly cold Yukon Territory, the starkly contrasting difference between ignorance and instincts, …show more content…
London vehemently describes the man’s ignorance in choosing to travel through such conditions; it was the man’s first winter in the foreign land and he was severely underprepared for the harsh troubles that the Territory presented. Once the man had created his first successful fire, he foolishly left it behind in his pursuit of the far-off camp that sang his name like a siren, and despite multiple warnings from more seasoned travelers, the man had decided to go it alone save for the presence of a native husky. The husky knew how to survive in such a dangerous land, for “its instinct told it a truer tale than was told to the man by the man’s judgment” (London 125). The animal’s countenance was unshakably depressed because it “knew it was no time for travelling” (London 125). When the first fire had been created, the dog “yearned back towards the fire” for it knew very well what real cold felt like due to its ancestry (London 128). While the man was living and able to provide food and fire, the husky trailed along dutifully, but when the man had died in the snow the husky had to leave. There was nothing more that the dead man could for the husky, so he left the traveler to seek out the camp that had “food providers and fire providers” (London

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