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Jack London To Build a Fire

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Jack London "To Build a Fire" Jack London is a really interesting writer who normally uses the outdoors for his settings in each book. "To Build a Fire" is set in the heart of Alaska during the coldest of times. London using the outdoors as a setting also means that nature can become a character during the story as well as an actual person. Jack London is a writer who really brings out the characters' personalities and can bring so much more to each character. Not only did he write such a great short story, but the story teaches the reader a moral by the time they are done reading. In Jack London's story "To Build a Fire" the reader knows right from the introduction that the story will be set outside in harsh conditions. "The Yukon lay a mile wide and hidden under three feet of ice...Fifty degrees below zero meant eighty-odd degrees of frost" (London 120). This quote shows the conditions that the man in the story will be traveling through. The Yukon is an area in Alaska where the weather is the strangest and the harshest. Only, this quote is not truthful because he only wanted to think it was fifty below. ...read more.


He tries to get a fire going again, but fails. The reader sees desperate emotion come from the man when he knows he is going to die, but will do anything to try and survive. The man knows that blood flow is what keeps you alive and warm when you're walking, so he tries to run and warm himself up (128). The character shows fear of death by trying so hard to survive. Running around only made things worse, he was already tired and freezing. "He fell down a second time...this time the shivering came more quickly upon the man. He was losing the battle against the frost" (128). The dog on the other hand had much better instincts the man and he actually listened to them. The dog is another character in the story because he participates in what is happening, and the narrator follows what he does as well. The dog is the man's partner while traveling. Sure it's nice to have company, but the man should have had a human with him. Any animal has instincts when the weather is too bad to travel or when the weather is good enough to be playing or hunting. The dog knew it was too cold out, but because he was traveling with the man, he knew he had to follow or he could get beaten. ...read more.


The weather brings out instincts in the dog, so he will defeat the weather. The weather survives the story, because weather will never die. Weather may have not done what it should, such as kill both man and dog, but the weather succeeded in the death of the ignorant man. Jack London is a writer of nature and especially nature during the winter months. "To Build a Fire" is a short story that in the end, teaches the reader a moral about life; a moral about what to do during harsh conditions, and a moral about elders. The moral or morals of this story is to follow your instincts. If you follow your instincts during such harsh times, you might have a better chance of surviving. The other moral is to listen to your elders. Elders know best because they have experienced almost everything. If you listen to advice from somebody who knows what they are talking about, you should be sure to survive. If the man would have just done everything he was told, maybe he wouldn't have frozen to death in the middle of nowhere. The dog was smart and followed his instincts; this is why he survived weather that is almost impossible to survive. There are three characters in this short story, all with their own personality and all with a different ending. This is why Jack London writes such interesting stories and why he can write a story with a moral. ...read more.

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