London also uses irony to illustrate and stress his existential theme. He removes one match with his teeth, but drops it. The remoteness of the Yukon wilderness, as well as the absence of a human travel companion for the man, serve to illustrate the existentialist idea that man is alone in the universe.
Both only see the other as a means to their own survival. He drops them into the snow once the tree bark is lit. The dog watches his activities. He eats his lunch. Each piece is smothered and dies.
He thinks that he has been running around ridiculously rather than accepting the inevitable. He fights his growing alarm that each second spent trying to grab the bark is another second in which his feet freeze more fully.
Then he reaches for his knife to cut the strings. This helps to build the idea that the man believes nature is intended to serve him. He tries to move deliberately; driving fear from his mind, he focuses entirely on picking up the matches, looking at his fingers closing because he cannot feel.
The man is betrayed by his own body: He is so sure that this fire will succeed that he collects large branches for when the fire is strong. The old man at Sulpur Creek had told him that no man should travel alone if it was colder than fifty degrees below zero.
The man tries to crawl toward the dog, but this is unusual, so the dog is scared. London's use of relaxing words dissuades the reader from feeling a great deal of sympathy for the man, as the death is merciful and graciously anticipated, rather than sad.
In order to save himself, he scrambles to build a fire but is too busy worrying about his health to notice the mistake of building a fire underneath a tree which has collected an enormous amount of snow. In despair, he admits that the old man at Sulpur Creek was right: The lack of care between dog and man is further established: As the story unfolds, the man gets progressively more worried about the situation.
When the dog comes, the man tries to grab it and is surprised again to find that his hands cannot grasp. For the sake of brevity, perhaps a short, simple definition would be best; according to the American Heritage Dictionary 3rd ed.
He builds his fire carefully because he understands that he will have one chance to successfully build a fire. He puts on his mittens and beats his hands. Cold simply means discomfort, to him. He tries to push a wet piece out of the flames, but he scatters the coals he has been cultivating.
He realizes he cannot feel his toes and feet, and the ice frozen around his mouth in his beard obstructs his eating. The old man at Sulphur Creek presents a different possibility for the relationship between humans and nature: The side trail he travels on is not well-marked.
The man is used to having a plan and is surprised when he cannot grasp the dog or kill it, especially because he starts to carry out his plan and then is forced to abandon the idea. He moves carefully, understanding that he needs to be successful at his first attempt to build a fire.
He imagines the boys finding his body on the trail the next day. Once, sensing danger, he sends the dog over a patch of ice first. He thinks again about the old man at Sulphur Creek and realizes that a partner at this time would be helpful.
The dog howls, while evening arrives and stars appear in the sky. The protagonist decides to face the brutal cold temperatures of the Yukon Territorydespite being warned by an older man.
This theme can also be connected to the theme mentioned above of the man's judgement, and the man's arrogance. He succeeds in picking them up, finally, and by using his teeth, he rips one match out of the pack. A large wolf dog accompanies the man. The dog falls through the ice, but quickly crawls out on the other side.“To Build a Fire” is an adventure story of a man’s futile attempt to travel across ten miles of Yukon wilderness in temperatures dropping to seventy-five degrees below zero.
To Build a Fire: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature. him to go into camp or to seek shelter somewhere and build a fire.
The dog had learned about fire, and it wanted fire. Otherwise, it would dig itself into the snow and find shelter from the cold air. J a c k L o n d o n. The frozen moistness of its breathing had settled on its fur in a. When the man stops to build a fire and eat his lunch, he chuckles (that's right, chuckles) when his fingers go numb.
Then he takes out his pipe and sits there in the warmth of. When the man stops to build a fire and eat his lunch, he chuckles (that's right, chuckles) when his fingers go numb. Then he takes out his pipe and sits there in the warmth of his fire, thinking about how great he is. Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” is the tragic tale of a man who decides to travel alone through the hostile environment of the Yukon in sub-freeing temperatures and falls victim to the unrelenting and unforgiving power of nature.Download