Nature is very powerful and a strong theme in “to Build a Fire”. London talks throughout the story about the freezing temperatures, fire, and water.
The conflict that is significant between the men is that the new comer was very foolish in his decision to travel in the weather that day. The old-timer at Sulphur Creek warns him about traveling in fifty below zero weather. He also tells him that if he is going to travel in the Klondike in weather like this that he needs a travelling partner. Through out the story the new comer goes back and forth with himself about how the old-timer was wrong and then he would change his mind about how he was right. The new comer appreciated some of the advice that the old-timer had given but he was still sure that he could make the trip alone. At the end of this story the man mumbles to the old- timer of Sulphur Creek "You were right, old hoss; you were right."(London 528) This shows the reader that he had an emotional conflict with the old-timer about his advice on traveling. The new comer was too proud to admit that he should not be traveling in the Klondike alone and in such freezing temperatures.
The protagonist in this story is an inexperienced, alert, and persistent man. He attempts to make a long journey through the snow covered Yukon terrain. He is an inexperienced man to the cold winters in the Yukon. This is his first winter there. He had no imagination even though he was quick and alert to the thing in life not to meaning of the things. “Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty odd degrees of frost. Such fact impressed him as being cold and uncomfortable, and that was all.”(London 519) He is over confident. He has no understanding that weather this cold could be very dangerous to a man. It could cost him his life. He is alert to his surroundings. “He noticed the changes in the creek, the curves and bends and timber-jams, and always he sharply noted where he placed his feet.” (London 521) At one point he became...
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