How is the dog's reaction to the cold different from the man's, and why?

Expert Answers
price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The dog's reaction to the cold is different than the man's because nature has equipped the dog with instincts.  Man has lost the ability to access his basic instincts due to evolution and becoming "civilized."  The dog has fur to protect him and is able to curl his tail around his exposed foot pads and nose when confronted by brutal conditions such as the extreme cold.  But, even the dog knows that the trip the man takes is not something that should be done when the man spits tobacco juice in the air, and it freezes before it hits the ground. Unlike the man, he instinctively knows the dangers.  He whines at the man and attempts to get the man to stop and build a fire, but the man ignores the instinctive signs the dog presents.  At the end when the man attempts to catch the dog, the dog growls and backs away, sensing danger from the man.  The dog survives the cold because of his basic animal instincts that tell him how to survive.  The dog has respect for the winter conditions; unfortunately, the man does not.  

Read the study guide:
To Build a Fire

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question