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What is the climax and resolution of "To Build A Fire"?

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babybule | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 16, 2007 at 4:03 AM via web

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What is the climax and resolution of "To Build A Fire"?

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merehughes | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted September 16, 2007 at 5:27 PM (Answer #1)

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In "To Build a Fire", the man is trapped in the Arctic wilderness with his dog.  He must build a fire or die.  Additionally, he has gotten his feet wet.  At first he reconciles himself to losing his feet but the climax comes when he realises that if he does not build a fire, he will die. He then begins to run frantically to no avail. The resolution comes when when the man accepts his fate and sits down to die. As he nears death, he has an outer body experience he hears himself telling the Old Timer whose advice he ignored, that his advice was indeed correct.

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 22, 2007 at 3:05 PM (Answer #2)

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The climax of "To Build a Fire" occurs when the man is trying to remove his moccasins to warm his feet by the fire and the snow from a bough of the tree collapses onto the fire, effectively destroying his chances of survival and causing him to realize he is going to die.  The resolution takes place after this realization when he begins to run, only to collapse in exhaustion, and finally, as the dog watches faithfully nearby, numbness fills his freezing body. Hope this helps.  For a more detailed summary check the link below. Brenda

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