Relationship between Humans and the Natural World

Essay by heimancCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Jack London's "To Build a Fire" is an ideal example of the natural world versus man. This piece presents how the dog's and human's instinct and intelligence towards the natural world. The man only uses his instinct in a few key situations, but his battle of the natural world foreshadows his downfall. The dog relied on his instincts more commonly when he was in trouble. There is a distinct difference between man and dog on their relationship to the natural world.

Instinct is intuition and a natural feeling toward something. The dog shows his instinct throughout this telling. In "To Build a Fire" the dog knows that it is below seventy-five degrees below zero. His instinct tells him that it wasn't the time to be outside.(33) Also, when the dog treads on to an unknown spring, his instinct tells him to try and lick the water and icicles off his fur.

The only time the man demonstrated instinct in the story was when he knew he was going to die. His senses told him he wasn't going to make the night, so he simply lay down and slept his way to death. The man showed his smarts when he built a fire in general. Without the fire, the man wouldn't have survived as long as he did.

In John Updike's "The Crow in the Woods" is also explains how man can differ from the natural world. The man in the story is confined and isolated from the natural world "by layers of architecture, clothing, social inhibitions, and mind."(68) The man is caught in the busy world; he doesn't acknowledge the natural world. He is focuses on the classes of society and money. One night, he is awakened from sleep and begins to see things in a new way, a more...