In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, the setting plays a significant role throughout the entire short story. Jack London uses certain techniques to establish the atmosphere of the story. 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. Never being exposed to such a harsh climate, draws us to the conclusion that the environment is the determining factor of his survival, as well as his dog's too. 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. "Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey..."
He repeats these phrases to redefine to his readers the impact the setting has on the lives of the characters. 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. "But all this-the mysterious, far-reaching hairline trail, the absence of sun from the sky, the tremendous cold, and the strangeness of it all- made no impression on the man." Blocking out the bothersome temperatures and climate he is surrounded by, he never really attempts to face this personal monster of...