"To Build aFire"

Essay by jennymikeCollege, Undergraduate July 2014

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Jennifer Ray

D' Angelo



In the story "To Build a Fire" there are many occasions of foreshadowing, double of which contain the time and tone the old timer uses when speaking to the untrained man. The old timer presents a sense of foreboding and does so with reference to the weather and light. This use of pitiful misconception also emphasizes how defenseless the man is to his environment.

This quotation appears in the first paragraph:

"It was a clear day, and yet there seemed an intangible pall over the face of the things, a subtle gloom that made the day dark, and that was due to the absence of the sun."

The discussion overhead reveals foreshadowing because it foreshadows the event leading up to how vulnerable the man truly is within his environment. The absence of the sun reveals the bitter cold of the man's chilling surroundings.

The second example of foreshadowing in the story "To Build a Fire" is when the old-timer warns the man of the horrendous environmental conditions pertaining to the horrific temperature, once again, implementing how harsh and nasty the weather truly is within their environment .

The second accusation of foreshadowing is when the man says:

"No man must travel alone in the Klondike after fifty below."

The conversation above demonstrates foreshadowing because the man fails to stop and take a look ahead of the situation at hand and with his failure to do so results in his death.

The man's journey was doomed from the beginning because of the absence of knowledge of how to preserve his body temperature from horrendous weather conditions. Obviously, the man's actions speak aloud; his drastic failure to learn the ways and awareness of the old timer was fatal to his life.