To Build a Fire Questions and Answers
by Jack London

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Describe the main character in "To Build a Fire" by Jack London.

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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We do not know much about about the protagonist in "To Build a Fire." In fact, we do not even know his name and origin. We are only aware that he is a man that is unaccustomed to the nature of the Yukon, and that his intention is to meet up with some friends at a mining camp. Direct exposition tells us nothing else in direct regard to his character, but we can guess much based on his actions.

First, we understand that he is incredibly arrogant. He is directly warned by the experienced old-timer that the weather he is attempting to travel in is completely unsuitable. Despite his inexperience, however, he chooses not to listen to the warning, considering himself above the advice.

Second, we know that the man is completely out of touch with nature. The brazen confidence of the man is contrasted by the worry and fear of his dog, who is in touch with nature enough to know that traveling is a bad idea. In the end, nature defeats the man due to his underestimation of it. Even when he finally...

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