“To Build a Fire”
In Jack London’s, “To Build a Fire”, it is obvious to see that as the story progresses, the man becomes more bestial. However at the same time the dog seems to gain the human quality of good sense. This quality of good sense, which the dog acquires, allows it to away from the same fate of the man. There are many examples of how this is portrayed as the story makes headway.
The first example of how the man becomes more bestial occurs after his first fire fails. After his fire fails, his hands are too cold to allow him to pick up matches. He was trying everything in order to warm up his hands, but nothing was working. Then he came up with a crazy and savage idea to warm them up. The story reads, “He would kill the dog, and bury his hands in the warm body until the numbness went out of them. Then he could build another fire...” That idea is a perfect example of his turn to bestiality. When the man tries to carry out this insane idea, the dog demonstrates his lean towards human characteristics.
Another example how the man is beginning to move and act like an animal. It reads, “After some manipulation he managed to get the bunch between the heels of his mittened hands. In this fashion he carried it to his mouth...” At this point, the man’s hands are so cold that he can no longer grasp objects, such as matches. In order to get the matches he has to use the heels of his hands just like paws. This also shows his increasing relationship to the bestial characteristics.
As the story, proceeds it is also obvious that the dog is picking up more characteristics that are human. These characteristics such as sense allow the dog to steer clear of the man’s fate. “But the dog knew; all its ancestry knew, and it had inherited the knowledge. And it knew that it was not good to walk abroad in such fearful cold...” The dog knew that they should not be out in the...
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