To Build a Fire

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bmorebirds13
Words 403
Pages 2
In life, one may listen to the warnings nature gives us or continue to blindly push forward. If they choose not to listen to these cautions, it is their own fault. In “Too Build A Fire” by Jack London, the main character ignores these blatant warnings and chooses to proceed towards the dangers ahead without a clue of the risk of injury or the possibility of death. London provides the reader with an early sign of what is to come with the opening statement that the “[d]ay had broken cold and gray” (114). Choosing to ignore this, the man continued on his journey to a far away camp. This may not have been such a problem if he traveled with another person like the “old-timer” told him. This wise man warned the young, thoughtless man “after fifty below, a man should travel with a partner” (121). Disregarding the old-timers rightful insight, the man proceeds with his one thought of getting to the camp by 6 pm. One thing the man did bring along was his husky. Even though he brings him along, he again omits another warning, this one being the dog’s behavior because of the cold. If the man treated his dog better, this indication of the dogs behavior may of been more obvious as the dog may of cared more about the mans life. Though these apparent symbols of the danger of traveling are present to the man, he continues his journey to his demise.

Starting to feel the affects of the unbearable cold, the man stubbornly goes on with his original plans to make it to the camp. When he made fires along the way, the dog became intensely attracted and strongly urged to stay with it. The cold became so bad that when went to make a fire his hands went numb in less than a minute then relied on the fire to bring back the feeling. As if the signs up to this point were enough, what would happen if he couldn’t make the fire or something goes wrong? Eventually the answer to this question…...

Similar Documents

To Build a Fire

...‘To Build a Fire” Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” takes place during a harsh winter in the forest of Alaska. This story is about a courageous but stubborn man who decides to confront the mighty forces of nature. This man takes a journey that not many would have taken, with a husky dog as his only companion. As he travels through the rough landscape of Alaska, he faces many natural obstacles. Facing these barriers make him more aware about reality about challenging the forces of nature, a challenge that in many times becomes a matter of life or death. Throughout the story the main character is not given a name, he is simply known as the “Man.” A hardheaded newcomer to the coniferous forest of Alaska; a man who thinks he knows it all, but is about to come in contact with the worst weather he has ever had to face. The man’s lack of experience led him to his downfall. As his journey began he went into the trail not well prepared, because of the low temperatures a face mask was well needed and he did not bother to wear one. “He does not recognize that man is so finial that the bitterly cold Alaskan inevitably destroys the individual” (McClintock 355). The man had trouble understanding that Nature was something that can never be fought against, but still his machismo personality set in and he was not going to back down from it. Fifty degrees below zero meant nothing to him, he knew it was going to be cold and uncomfortable, and that was it. It did not lead him to...

Words: 2200 - Pages: 9

To Build a Fire

...To Build a Fire Summary A man travels in the Yukon (in Alaska) on an extremely cold morning with a husky wolf-dog. The cold does not faze the man, a newcomer to the Yukon, who plans to meet his friends by six o'clock at an old claim. As it grows colder, he realizes his unprotected cheekbones will freeze, but he does not pay it much attention. He walks along a creek trail, mindful of the dangerous, concealed springs; even getting wet feet on such a cold day is extremely dangerous. He stops for lunch and builds a fire. The man continues on and, in a seemingly safe spot, falls through the snow and wets himself up to his shins. He curses his luck; starting a fire and drying his foot-gear will delay him at least an hour. His feet and fingers are numb, but he starts the fire. He remembers the old-timer from Sulphur Creek who had warned him that no man should travel in the Klondike alone when the temperature was fifty degrees below zero. The man unties his icy moccasins, but before he can cut the frozen strings on them, clumps of snow from the spruce tree above fall down and snuff out the fire. Though building a fire in the open would have been wiser, it had been easier for the man to take twigs from the spruce tree and drop them directly below on to the fire. Each time he pulled a twig, he had slightly agitated the tree until, at this point, a bough high up had capsized its load of snow. It capsized lower boughs in turn until a small avalanche had blotted out the fire. The man......

Words: 2833 - Pages: 12

Antigone and to Build a Fire

...In Antigone written by Sophocles Antigone faces a tough decision, leave her dead brother’s burial spot alone or give him a proper burial and get put to death. In To Build a Fire by Jack London the character who remains nameless also faces death however his death is not a choice. The character in To Build a Fire suffers a death that is worse than the character in Antigone. Antigone had known her consequences and knew her fate but the character in To Build a Fire did not. He tried his best to survive flashing back to tips given to him by a wise man, on the other hand Antigone would not listen to anyone, she was going to do what she thought was right. “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more that our abilities” J.K. Rowling. Antigone had been warned by Creon “No one shall bury him, no one mourn for him…and the penalty- Stoning to death in the public square (pg. 461 lines 20-24). Antigone had tried to get her sister Ismene to help bury their brother but she did not want to disobey her leader Creon, although Antigone was set to marry Creon’s son they had both known the punishment. In To build a Fire the character also had a companion, his dog. He had brought his dog to let him go first in case of any traps he could get caught up on. In both of these they had each had a companion, the dog was more than willing to......

Words: 818 - Pages: 4

Fire

...Why people don't respond to alarm signals People often fail to respond quickly to fire alarm signals. A common example: In a hotel, a fire alarm sounds late at night. Only a handful of people actually dress and leave (often using the elevators). A few people call the front desk. Many people periodically poke their heads out their doors to see what's going on. But mostly, people simply wait for the alarm signal to stop. Eventually, the alarm either shuts off, or someone (hopefully) comes to tell them that there is a real emergency and they must leave. This problem has aggravated and perplexed fire safety professionals over the years. Some denounce the public for their stupidity in failing to recognize the potential danger indicated by a fire alarm signal. Their concern is valid: in many fire emergencies, a rapid response is critical to survival. But attributing the problem to public stupidity is inaccurate and of no value in correcting the problem. In reality, people are simply exhibiting natural tendencies. Why don't people respond to alarm systems? There are several reasons. In this essay, these reasons are divided into two main categories: Alarm signals as sources of information. Other reasons why people do and don't respond apart from the information-value of alarm signals. Alarm signals as a source of information. In order to understand why people fail to respond to alarm signals, we need to look at the information-value of alarm signals. By......

Words: 1477 - Pages: 6

Fire

...leaks or fires involving vehicles: (778) Your Answer: | are different than those for storage vessels. | | Correct Answer: | are the same as for storage vessels. | | Which of the following is the method most often used for controlling flammable liquid fires? (774) Your Answer: | Applying dry chemicals | | Correct Answer: | Applying foam | | Which of the following is NOT a main use for a master stream? (769) Your Answer: | As a backup handline | | Correct Answer: | Indirect fire attack | | Which of the following types of fire extinguishers should be used to extinguish fires in transformers at ground level? (782) Your Answer: | Stored-pressure water extinguisher | | Correct Answer: | Carbon dioxide extinguisher | | Which of the following is generally the first task of the second-arriving engine company? (789) Your Answer: | Assists with fireground support company operations | | Correct Answer: | Backs up the initial attack line. | | Once the basement is vented, which of the following types of crews is sent to complete extinguishment? (793) Your Answer: | Hoseline crew | | Correct Answer: | Nozzle crew | | What is one of the first actions to take when attacking a passenger vehicle fire? (797) Your Answer: | Extinguish any ground fire around or under the vehicle. | | Correct Answer: | Establish a safe working zone following U.S. DOT guidelines. | | Why do firefighters need to wear wildland fire......

Words: 412 - Pages: 2

Factory Farms vs to Build a Fire

...wrote a short story about pure foolishness and the consequences of failing to snap to reality. The story is called “To Build a Fire”. It is about a nameless man who decides to travel in the subzero climate of the Yukon Trail, which is between Alaska and Canada. He also brings along his wolf dog as his only companion, although they are far from intimate and loving towards each other. As he is traveling along throughout the story, he continues to receive signs that he shouldn’t be out there. For example, right from the start he “…spat again. And again, in the air, before it could fall to the snow, the spittle crackled” (London 107). For any rational person, that would send a flag right up and they’d turn back to civilization until weather permitted them to continue. But not for this man, he knew it was cold and even kept track of the temperature in his head as he walked on. Not only did he ignore his own frostbite, but he also ignored the advice of an old timer who told him he shouldn’t go and if he went, he shouldn’t go alone. But hey, he is a man and men can do anything and everything they put their mind to right? Wrong! Sooner or later his lack of reason led him to fall through the ice and then build a fire under a giant spruce tree covered in a heavy layer of snow. He admits that it was “…easier to pull the twigs from the brush and drop them directly on the fire…each time he had pulled a twig he had communicated a slight agitation to the tree” (London 113). At this point,......

Words: 1127 - Pages: 5

To Build a Fire

...Abstract This essay is a literary analysis of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire.” Jack London has set before us a story of survival and pride. Although the main theme of man against nature is very clear to the reader, it is through the eyes of the traveler and the thoughts of the dog traveling that with him that we begin to see just how frail humans are. The newcomer to the Yukon is ill prepared for what lays before him. Never Travel Alone Jack London “To Build a Fire” There is a thin line between life and death. Our own fate truly lies in our own hands. We can choose to close our eyes and blindly push forward or open our eyes and see the dangers that lie ahead. Our traveler in this story blindly pushed forward. A newcomer to the Yukon, he was headed to a camp about ten hours away by foot to meet the “boys”. “Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray” (p. 518). This was the first warning our traveler ignored. A foreshadowing of what is to come. In the deep of the winter where the days are extremely cold, an old-timer to the Yukon warned the man, never travel alone and to never travel when the temperature was fifty degrees below zero. The man thinking he knew more than the old-timer chose to ignore the danger, his mind empty of all but one thought - reaching the camp by 6pm. Spitting into the air his spittle froze and cracked before hitting the ground, a clear sign that the temperature was much colder than fifty degrees below zero. ...

Words: 1298 - Pages: 6

Fire

...to be facing. During those five precious minutes, someone's house is a blaze with fire. It is your duty to put that fire out, preserve as much as possible, and protect life. Do you think you could handle so much responsibility, pressure, and risk? I know I could. It is a dream of mine to become a firefighter in all sense of the word. I enjoy the thought of risk taking and even helping people, which is why I think that this profession would be just right for me. Ever since I was about 11 years old, and my house had caught fire, had I wanted to be a firefighter. Just watching all of those skilled firefighters mesmerized me. They had such precision and knew exactly what to do in what seemed every situation that would be thrown at them. I feel as though this is their personality and traits added to this accuracy at being so good at what they do. I also have quick reflexes, good stamina, and I tend to think of myself as a fast and logical thinking, just as they all were. I chose this career not only for my liking to it, but also because of the growth in the profession. Firefighting is a field that has potential for growth in the coming years, the education, requirements, and dedication are all equally important to this extremely dangerous, yet exciting job. Firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs out in the occupation world today. Summed up as a whole, firefighters are trained to fight fires, rescue people in need and provide medical services for humans and animals. There......

Words: 750 - Pages: 3

To Build a Fire

...Nicole Carpenter Eng-2510 May 19, 2014 To Build A Fire In reading, “To Build A Fire, London writes about a nameless character who tries to travel through the Alaskan winter with no one with him. The unnamed man has a few characteristics that many of us can relate to and understand. He has a strong ego, disregards the suggestions of others, and loses his cool and panics when things become dire. These character flaws ultimately result in the unnamed man’s death. I believe there are other contributing factors because of the unnamed man’s lack of rational thinking only becomes clearer when he does not heed the warnings of someone who has been in similar situations and has been around the area much longer than he has. The unnamed character’s experiences let him know that we need to take the experiences both the good and bad from other and use them to make a better decision than we are sometimes use to. Even after all the advice the old- timer gave him he still with no regard continued on his journey until he breaks through the ice and threatens not only his travels but his life is when he truly sees the significance of using other people’s experience suggestions and warnings, The man’s luck does not get much better and after his fire gets extinguished by the snow the man panics and his lack of respect for nature and taking the easy way out picking out a spot too close to a tree led to his last panicking moments. He toyed with the thought of killing his dog to use its......

Words: 427 - Pages: 2

Concept of Naturalism and to Build a Fire

...Concept of Naturalism in “To Build a Fire” In literature, naturalism has some fundamental characteristics. The plot involves man against nature and the burden of survival requires either adaptation or destruction of the characters involved. In this style of writing, nature or the natural world is continuously pushing man to his limits. When man heeds the warning signs, he may conquer it. But, when he ignores these warnings, it will defeat him. Naturalism is a general understanding of reality and humanity’s place with reality. It mirrors the events of daily life and shows how humans have to be careful when dealing with the natural world. In naturalism, nature is always waiting for man to make a mistake. Jack London in “To Build a Fire” focuses on the idea that nature is indifferent to man. He shows how violent and uncaring nature is. This short story features an unnamed man and his dog venturing into the Alaskan wilderness in the middle of winter. “To Build a Fire” is a short story that illustrates the concept of naturalism and how the natural world, which is dangerous, will gain the upper hand and man will perish. In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”, the narrator makes it clear that the “unnamed” man is in a dangerous situation with the elements. The man is facing weather seventy-five degrees below zero and he is not prepared to survive. Jack London writes that the cold, “did not lead him to meditate upon his frailty as a creature of temperature, and upon man’s......

Words: 1244 - Pages: 5

To Build a Fire

...To Build a Fire Tamara Perez-Davis TUI University Module 1 – SLP ENG 102 Dr. Idara Essien-Wood Introduction "To Build a Fire" is told using the third-person point of view. The narrator is an outsider who tells the reader a story about the main character. A man that is so arrogant that he doesn’t even listen to his own instinct. London establishes this third-person point of view right from the beginning of the story, saying, “when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank.” The outsider narrator sets the stage by introducing the setting and referring to the main character as “the man.” It also starts to tell you the story of how really cold it was at that time and how he was not going to listen to anyone, even himself. Body There is a man that is traveling in the Yukon (in Alaska) on an extremely cold morning with a husky wolf-dog. The cold does not faze the man, a newcomer to the Yukon, who plans to meet his friends by six o'clock at an old claim. As it grows colder, he realizes his unprotected cheekbones will freeze, but he does not pay it much attention. He walks along a creek trail, mindful of the dangerous, concealed springs; even getting wet feet on such a cold day is extremely dangerous. He stops for lunch and builds a fire. The man continues on and, in a seemingly safe spot, falls through the snow and wets himself up to his shins. He curses his luck; starting a fire and drying his foot-gear will delay him at least......

Words: 954 - Pages: 4

To Build a Fire

...Trevor Russell To Build A Fire My favorite Sentence in this short story read, “On the top of this ice were as many feet of snow.” The sentence is at the beginning when the man is describing not only how far he came, but what it looked like. I picture the scene from the end of the movie Shooter. Mark Wahlberg is sniping some of the bad guys who worked for the government. He’s on the top of the snow covered mountain thats wide open, and he can see nothing but the bad guys for the government, and the white snow. “And to get his feet wet in such a temperature meant trouble and danger.” This sentence was my second favorite. In the story where this sentence appears the unnamed man is describing when he was walking down this stream coved in a half inch of ice, and how he panicked when he felt the give under his feet. I know his feeling in this situation. I feel into a stream that was frozen over one winter to save my niece that fell in while we were sledding down a hill. It was very cold, and I panicked as well. Even though it was very cold I wouldn't hesitate to do it agin, because I love my niece with all my heart. I liked that sentence, because it brought back that old memory with me and my niece. Yes we were having fun but sometimes you can have a little to much fun and not be paying attention, therefor you end up having to just in a frozen stream to save your little niece. My favorite character in this short story would have to be......

Words: 972 - Pages: 4

Fire

...When we all started our carrers as firefighters wheatear we knew it or not we were all at the mercey of those more experienced at the station. While this typically what you would expect to see at the fire station it can definatily be a double edged sord. While rookie firefighters get the opputunity to be guided in the right the direction by the more seasoned firefighters the opposite is also true, and can lead the rookie down the wrong path. This can be attributed to a lot of reasons including: the seasoned firefighter has been taught the wrong path themselves, they may not have the patentece to guide a rookieor are have poor teaching skills, and of course they may just not care. Barring the last example(because we all know we work at a good station) the other examples can be detrimental to the new firefighter succeeding. A lot of what we do in the fire service can only be perfected through experience. Tring new ways to accomplish a small task is the firefighter way. Much of the basics of what we do in the fire service is learned at a fire school but is taught as general information with the understanding that each induvudal department, station and shft have their own way to handle fireground activities. This is a completely acceptable practice, it is part of the captains job to gage their crews skills abilities as well as have an understanding of their still alarm territory and target hazards. When a rookie firefighter first comes to the station sometimes it is easy......

Words: 482 - Pages: 2

To Build a Fire and the Grey

...‘To Build a Fire’ and The Grey both cover identical topics such as survival and perseverance. But the main theme shown in both is "in the wild, there are many factors which determine one's chances of survival." The two main characters go through similar events in their respective stories. The two men go through conflict of man vs. nature and are in comparable settings. In TFB an unidentified main character travels through extremely cold weather in order to make to his camp site. The grey also takes place in the north, a terrible storm causes their plane to crash in the frozen wilderness. It is significantly cold in TFB: “Fifty degrees below zero meant 80 degrees of frost. Such facts told him that it was cold and uncomfortable, and that was all.” Both males understand what such cold weather can do, although one shows it more than the other. Another problem with nature they encounter is the animals they must deal with. Ottway (Liam Neeson) and the other men encounter wolves multiple times while in TFB he knows killing the dog will provide him with warmth. They all show perseverance even with the many conflicts they must deal with. The men must endure the extreme cold temperature in order to survive. Snow was one of the main parts of the settings. With both stories set in the frozen wilderness the men acknowledge how to use their surroundings in order to survive. For example in TBF he realizes he could use the dog in order to help him stay in warm until he can build a......

Words: 370 - Pages: 2

Fire

...South Canyon Fire Disaster (DRAFT) Introduction The South Canyon, or sometimes referred to as the Storm King Mountain Fire, that occurred in July 1994 is an intriguing disaster to study. What makes the disaster so intriguing is that another fire which occurred in 1949 called the Mann Gulch Fire, killed 13 firefighters and yet forty-four years later the same mistakes were made at the South Canyon Fire leading to the death of fourteen more firefighters. When compared to each other, both fires have almost the exact same topographical features, weather phenomena, and sequence of events. Both fires were located inside box canyons, or “small ravine or canyon with steep walls on three sides allowing access or egress only through the mouth of the canyon” (Wikipedia) and located on a major river. Gusting winds up the mouth of the canyon contributed to the fire blowing up and increase in size in just a matter of moments. On both fires, the practice of downhill fire line construction was used down steep mountain sides which hampered the fire crews in escaping uphill when the fire began to overrun them. In this paper, I plan on examining the organizational, executive, and regulatory failures that led to the demise of the fourteen firefighters on the South Canyon Fire and to address the major question, “Are wildfire fighting fatalities inevitable ‘normal accidents’?” South Canyon Fire Event In 1994, Colorado experienced a year of extreme drought and in the summer months, long......

Words: 2359 - Pages: 10