To Build A Fire Literary Analysis

Topics: Yukon, Fiction, Short story, Dog, Klondike Gold Rush, Thought / Pages: 3 (670 words) / Published: Mar 2nd, 2017
Ever since the beginning of time, man has been intrigued by the power and sheer beauty of nature. From, the mountains to the desert or even the cold of Alaska, stories of man fighting the dangers of the wild have been recorded. In Jack London’s short story, To Build a Fire, he tells a tale of an unnamed man and his dog fighting through the barren Alaskan wilderness. The man, unexpecting of the power of the cold, ignoring the warnings he has received, brutes his way through the wilderness to meet up with his companions at camp. London, typical to other works of his, demonstrates to the reader the conflict between man and nature, a conflict that man falls apart under the weight of the power of nature. The battle between the man and the Alaskan …show more content…
The story starts with irony, saying that the man “was used to the lack of sun”, but later calling him “a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter.” (London, 609). This is ironic because in Alaskan winters, the sun is rarely up and the author says he is used to the darkness, but later says that he is a newcomer to Alaskan winters. Irony is used by London to show the contrast of what the man thinks and what is reality. The man has witnessed some of the powers of nature, but most likely got used to the darkness in the protection of a camp with shelter and fire. However, the man doesn’t know the true dangers of winter because he is a newcomer. The man thinks pridefully of himself because “He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances.” (609). This man is a keen, strong man, but he takes nature lightly and acts as if it’s a game, not realizing his life is at …show more content…
The first sign of danger is his crackling spit. When the man spits it crackles before it ever hits the ground (London, 610). The man knows what temperature this indicates and realizes the danger “But the temperature did not matter. He was bound for the old claim… where the boys were” (610). This ironically foreshadows the man’s death because he is blinded by his arrogance and thinks he can go fast enough to make it to camp. The man also ignores the warnings from his dog. When the man stops to build a fire, the dog cuddles down a takes in the warmth, but when the man is ready to leave “the dog was disappointed and yearned back toward the fire. This man did not know the cold” (613). This dog is a husky, native to Alaska, who knows the dangers of the cold much better than the man does, but the man ignores his dog and tries to keep going. The contrast between the man and the dog displays the stubbornness of the man and his disrespect for nature. The dog has endured the cold all throughout his ancestry, but the man has no experience with this weather so he ignores it even though it will be his undoing. The man also ignores the experienced Alaskan men. Before starting his expedition the man got advice from an old-timer who said “If he had a trail mate he would have been in no danger” (616). This the most obvious and simple warning the man ignores. The man feels that the old-timer is

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • To Build A Fire: A Literary Analysis
  • To Build a Fire Analysis
  • To Build a Fire Analysis
  • "To Build a Fire" Analysis
  • To Build A Fire Analysis
  • To Build A Fire Analysis
  • To Build a Fire
  • To build a fire
  • To Build a Fire
  • To Build a Fire