"To Build a Fire" by Jack London: An anyalisis of the symbolism in this short story.

Essay by jessyhclHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2005

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In "To Build a Fire" the man goes on a journey in the Yukon while it is negative seventy degrees. The man is very stubborn and has a lot of pride on himself. When the author, Jack London, says, "...and the strangeness and the weirdness of it all- made no impression on the man." London is showing the reader that the man does not realize how cold it is. I think that he knows it is cold but refuses to admit that because he wants to be like superman, which is impermeable to the cold. The man sets this unattainable task, getting to the campsite by six o'clock. I think he does this because he hopes that it will keep him motivated to move faster. Unfortunately as said in the text, " he lacked the endurance." I think this shows that even if man has the will to do something, nature will always be stronger and stop them.

The dog is a very important element to this short story. Even though he is a dog, which is not as smart as humans, he is a lot smarter than the man. The dog knew that it was too cold to be outside, " the animal was depressed by the tremendous cold. It knew that it was no time for traveling. Its instinct told a truer tale..." I think what the author is trying to tell the reader is that people shouldn't become so self-consumed that they forget about what's really happening. I think that he wants us to remember to be like the dog. Not that we should wag our tails, or drink from a dog bowl, but that we should listen to our instincts.

The author, London, puts a lot of emphasizes on how cold it...