To Build a Fire
Nature is always pushing man to his limits. When man heeds the warning signs that nature has to offer and those warnings of other men, he is most likely to conquer nature. When he ignores these warnings, nature is sure to defeat man. To build a fire is a prime example of this scenario. In the short story, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, an inexperienced traveler in the Yukon travels alone with his dog, even though it is ill advised to do so. The man is strong and smart but nature humbled him during his quest to reach his friends. The man’s inexperience with traveling in the cold subzero temperatures doomed him from the beginning, but his strong focus under extreme pressure and his keen sense of observation are what allows him to survive as long as he did. The ignorance of the old-timer’s words of wisdom slowly haunts him and catches up with him in the end. The man’s disregard for nature’s power is his demise during his journey. Although the man’s inexperience is his demise, he has very keen observing skills and strong focusing abilities. London writes, “he was keenly observant, and he noticed the changes in the creek, the curves and bends and timber-jams, and always he sharply noted where he placed
This ignorance leads many to believe he is not a wise man but he shows himself to be quite opposite of that throughout the story. This disrespect, however, shall come to taunt him later. For example, London writes, "And to get his feet wet in such a temperature meant trouble and danger. The man is strong and smart, yet he is ignorant and inexperienced. " (London, 527) That may sound like common knowledge but to fully understand its severity, in such brutal temperatures, must be present in his thoughts. " (London, 525) The man has no idea what he is about to encounter and does not calculate all the risks he will face. "He was surprised, however, at the cold" and "Once in a while the thought reiterated itself that it was very cold. "It was as though he had just heard his own sentence of death. He had the "book smarts"tm about walking through the Yukon but he lacked the "street smarts. He had with him seventy matches to start fires with, making it possible to start as many as seventy fires in case of emergency. The man is strong and smart but nature humbled him during his quest to reach his friends. " (London, 527) These skills allow him to make his way through the Yukon. " (London, 533) With these thoughts in his head, he finally does realize nature"tms power but that proves to be to late.
Some topics in this essay:
Jack London, Sulphur Creek, Mother Nature, , Yukon Possibly, naturetms power, london writes, words wisdom, strong smart, london 527, strong smart nature, old-timertms words wisdom, nature humbled quest, smart nature humbled, mantms inexperience, quest reach, reach friends, nature humbled, humbled quest reach, london 529,
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