How are determinism and social darwinism present in London's naturalistic short story "To Build a Fire"?

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If one assumes that the fate of the man trying to light the fire was totally determined by previous actions or his previous life, the connection to social darwinism, or the idea of survival to the fittest is relatively straight forward.

The man ignores all kinds of advice suggesting that he ought not to attempt his journey that day and even more importantly not alone.  He even receives warnings of a kind from the dog, but all of them come from people or things that are wiser than he is.

His pride is what leads to his eventual death as he ignores all of the wisdom sent his way and even forgets simple things about how to survive in the wild.

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To Build a Fire

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