Critical Analysis Of To Build A Fire By Jack London

June 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Jack London’s ‘To Build a Fire’ can really be seen as a job of art. It’s an excellent short story for anyone looking to read with subjects that anyone can relate to, such as survival and man versus nature. Everybody understands a dog is the greatest friend of a person, but what happens when it is man versus dog? The fittest demonstrates really when the survival of the fittest starts. Jack London in ‘To Build a Fire’ puts forward multiple literary elements that really involve the reader in the tale.

Jack London discovered fame and fortune at the age of 27 in the tale of a dog discovered his way to the globe as a sled dog in the Yukon with his novel The Call of the Wild (1903). In several philosophical fields, this deterministic perspective affected naturalists. As humans have no free will, naturalist individuals did not make moral judgments regarding the actions of their characters; after all the actions are determined by the environment and not by humankind. Naturalists considered the milieu as deterministic and tough to its residents, therefore keen instincts are essential for survival rather than civilized intellects.

The man versus nature is one of the main topics in ‘To Build a Fire’. The world of nature is depicted as unemotional and unaware of the destiny of man throughout the story. This literary depiction of nature reflects naturalism as a understanding of the natural universe. Unlike other literary movements, naturalism takes on the characteristics of human love, care and agency, without feeling and without projecting them onto the natural planet.

The success has made London’s tough lifestyle little easier. The ‘To Build a Fire’ adventure tale about a man’s futile effort, at seventy-five degrees below zero, to travel ten miles of the wilderness of Yukon. At 10:00 a.m., the unknown actor plans to arrive at a camp by lunch, where others wait. This comparatively brief trip is unfortunately impossible by unexpected complications. At 9:00 a.m. there is no sun in the sky, and in this desolate Yukon region three feet more snow has gone down. The guy is not concerned, despite the dim, bitter, numbing cold, even when he has reason to care. He underestimated the cold in the first place. He knows his face and fingers are stupid, but until later in the story, he cannot understand the gravity of the conditions. The person gradually gets more concerned about the scenario when the tale unfolds. First, he’s just conscious of the cold; he’s a bit concerned; he’s frenzied lastly. The wolfdog is his only companion. The animal, depressed by coldness, appears to feel that the tremendously small temperatures can cause something terrible. The dog’s conduct should demonstrate the guy that he has undervalued the risk.

The man is very satisfied at first. He knew it was cold but did not consider how cold would affect him. As the writer states, ‘the trouble with him was because it was without imagination.’ He presumed he was sufficient to protect him by mittens, hats and warm socks. Only when he gets his feet wet does he become concerned. He realizes that he ought to have heard an old man who told him he ought never to go to the cold of the Yukon alone. However, the man is practical and, while afraid, his mind is only about survival. He can’t think of giving up.

Her projections are in vain because whatever naturalism freewill the guy previously gave (none technically, but at least he could decide) has disappeared entirely in this part of the tale. Hands are the natural benefit of men and enable us to use instruments, the goods of the intelligence of men. But the hands of the man betray him here. He can not properly operate matches, nor can he use the knife, so that both instruments are wasted. His intellect is ineffective in nature.

Let’s discuss the environmental situation of the play / film / text. The existential topic of ‘To build the fire,’ which is the most important of its choices, is emphasized by London in a number of ways. During the tough winter months, the tale takes place in the Yukon wild, where ‘sun and sun did not hint.’ The story is in the wilderness. London positions its lonely human nature into the hazardous Yukon wilderness, adequate to demonstrate the topic, but if London combines this constant and deadly cold winter atmosphere in the Yukon, the climate generates a hostile and livelihood.

In one point of the story, the instincts of the dog tell him it’s too cold, a truth which eludes the guy until it’s too late. The animal feels fear in his voice and conduct and eludes him when the guy intends to murder the dog. Finally, the dog instinctively understands that fire and warmth mean safety and survival. London likes to speak about half-wolf dogs because they symbolize the cross between civilization and wildness, which marks the white west. Or, that’s what he was thinking at least.

There is no close relationship between the dog and the man in ‘To Build a Fire’. So, I believe that the nature of the dog is clearly indicative of his character and of the destiny of the person. The man is only a source of food and safety to the dog, not an accompaniment. The dog cannot be affected by the death of man and the dog finds other individuals quickly to provide food and shelter. However, I believe that the scenario would shift in the tale. It would make the dog worry more about him, if the person generates a deeper connection with the dog. I believe that it’s would make a different if the dog is really young, because the dog will think he is a family. I believe the dog would care for the person more.

The dog and the person both are dying of the cold similarities. It’s so cold that they have ice cakes. The frozen moisture of her respiration settled in a fine powder of frozen frost on her fur, and her jowls, muzzles, and sight were whitened with her crystalline breath. A red beard and mouse of the man were also frosted, but the deposit in the shape of ice was stronger. As the lonely man sets out what he thinks will be a day’s journey into a camp to join some other man, he faces many challenges linked to the Yukon’s extremely low temperature. He is new to the region. When the temperature is far lower than zero, he underestimates the trouble of traveling on foot. The instincts of the dog allow him to survive, but the guy has no benefit.

There are three main topics for building a fire by Jack London. They respect nature and take the outcomes of actions into account. High warnings are the primary subject, or the universal truth. The topics are demonstrated by the personality and his behavior. The primary protagonist in the tale took a position which prevented him from hearing inner and outer warnings. His attitude had been arrogant and careless, he didn’t honor the authority of nature, and therefore he paid with his life.


  1. David C. (August 12, 2009). David Cobham Showreel – To Build A Fire. Retrieved from:
  2. To build a fire book. Copied right: build-a-fire.pdf
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