An analysis of the setting and theme in to build a fire a short story by jack london

And even then, you can expect the odd brazier and stalactite. Common features of such a location include underground cavern-like decor, plenty of hellfire and lavaand red-skinned devils with horns and tails poking the souls of sinners around with their pitchforks. Sometimes, it's actually shown to be underground literallybut most of the time it's Another Dimension. Note the curious discrepancy ; despite rebelling against Goddevils in hell are doing some kind of job with awe-inspiring diligence and consistency.

An analysis of the setting and theme in to build a fire a short story by jack london

By introducing his readers to the setting, prepares them for a tone that is depressed and frightening. Isolated by an environment of frigid weather and doom, the author shows us how the main character of the story is completely unaware of his surroundings.

The only world the man is truly accustomed to, is his own. Anything that the man and his dog comes into contact with, creates an anticipation for disaster in the story. London places a strong emphasis on the setting in the introduction to the story.

The gloominess of the setting instills feelings in the man and the dog, of a constant battle with this world of depression they are in. Being given no sense of imagination, the man is only gifted with his practical knowledge.

He therefore is shown to lack the experience and thought to adapt to the conditions encompassing him. Typically, man never wants to deal with the reality, especially when it is unpleasant.

What he would do if the inevitable happened to him, is his personal monster. This situation causes the man to become selfish, only focusing on his present actions and thoughts. London provides us with subconscious hints in his writing, that lead his readers to believe that the man will suffer a tragedy in the end of the story.

The dog by nature, is an animal that has an innate gift of instinct. The setting placed in this type of habitat, is the main conflict of the story. Under the cold conditions, the dog has the ability to survive because it has always known how.


London has already given away the ending, as a result of his constant focus of the effect the environment has on the man not knowing the means of survival that the dog knows. Lured to the plot of the story, we keep on reading always anticipating the danger of the climate to overcome the man.

The one was the toil slave of the other, and the only caresses it had ever received were the caresses of the whip lash and of harsh and menacing throat sounds that threatened the whip lash. If the man was to come upon serious danger, the dog would not be eager to offer itself for help.

Not being concerned with anything remotely imaginative, the man put himself in a position to expect death. His selfishness and ignorance keeps him in an array of danger and disaster.

The climax point of the story, London causes the man to fall through the ice and wet himself up to his knees.

To Build a Fire Plot Analysis

However, the man never took the precautions in his mind to even begin to think of how to cope with the deadly situation. The only help he was given for the situation, was the advice of an old timer from Sulphur Creek.

Violently, the man attempted to stop his appendages from freezing, but failed as the dog just watched.

An analysis of the setting and theme in to build a fire a short story by jack london

He remembered the tale of the man, caught in a blizzard, who killed a steer and crawled inside the carcass, and so was saved.An archaeological dig is rekindling a friendly feud between two towns over which was the first in Connecticut.

Jack London's “To Build a Fire” What is the relationship of man and nature in London's short story "To Build a Fire"? In London's story, what is the difference between knowledge and instinct? Learning Objectives. How would you describe the setting in this opening paragraph?

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Jack London's To Build a Fire: Summary & Analysis - SchoolWorkHelper

To Build a Fire study guide contains a biography of Jack London, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. In "To Build a Fire," we have a main character whose hands get so frozen he has to try and light a fire by holding a match between his wrists.

By exploring every brutal detail of this man's struggle with the Arctic wilderness, London reminds us that no matter how cushy we feel inside our homes and malls, there is a brutal nature out there, just.

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