To Build a Fire Questions and Answers
by Jack London

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Explain how determinism and social darwinism are persent in Jack London's naturalistic short story, "To Build a Fire."

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One of the key ideas necessary to understand this excellent short story of man pitted against nature is Naturalism. As you indicate, we can definitely say that this is a Naturalist short story. The naturalists were nineteenth-century writers who in their work went beyond realism in an attempt to portray life precisely as it it. They were strongly influenced by Darwin's theory of evolution and his concept of the survival of the fittest, and they believed that human actions and behaviour is determined by heredity and environment. Naturalists exposed human behaviour in an objective fashion, and presented human beings as being under...

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