To Build a Fire Questions and Answers

To Build a Fire

Before any of the trouble in this story gets started, the “wolf dog” is already concerned about the weather conditions and knows that it is a bad idea to be traveling. Right upfront, we see that...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2021, 7:51 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The protagonist of Jack London's short story builds three fires on his journey through the Yukon territory. The naive young man builds his first fire after he attempts to eat his lunch but cannot...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2018, 1:58 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The newcomer foolishly ignores the old timer's advice by traveling throughout the Yukon territory alone when it is below fifty degrees in order to meet his friends at the next human settlement by...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2018, 3:23 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The narrator describes the appearance of the snow and the distant trees of the Yukon, saying that it was an unbroken white, save for a dark hairline that curved and twisted from around the...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2020, 11:49 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The old timer’s advice is to never travel alone during a cold snap. Specifically, London writes that the man “remembered the advice of the old man on Sulphur Creek, and smiled. The man had been...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2016, 4:48 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The moral lesson in Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire" is that people should not think they are more powerful than nature. In addition, people should listen to others who have more...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2016, 6:33 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The theme of Man vs. Nature is the central conflict of Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire," which focuses on an inexperienced traveler's struggle to survive the treacherous Yukon...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2020, 1:56 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

London's use of imagery helps emphasize the harshness of the environment and the man's solitude in a vast landscape. For instance, the initial description of the trail emphasizes the blank...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2020, 12:54 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The man in Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire" did not carry much with him on his trek through the Yukon. Believing that he would make it to camp with no problems, the man travelled very...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2011, 8:11 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” the man builds three fires. The second fire goes out because the man makes a mistake: he builds the fire under a pine tree. Although this makes it easier for him...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2017, 6:21 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

This incident is important for advancing the plot. By this time the dog had already fallen through the water, but had the sense to bite the ice that is on his feet. The dog, part of nature, has...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2008, 6:07 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The main theme in "To Build a Fire" is Man versus Nature, but in the sense of Literary Naturalism. The protagonist is not killed by nature, but simply is unequipped to survive in it; he does not...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2013, 5:57 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

One of the most notable aspects of literary naturalism is the way it presents human beings as an intrinsic part of nature. All too often, we like to think of ourselves as standing over against...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2020, 6:46 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

Another conflict is man vs. animal. This is because the man did not trust or let the dog find their way to the camp, when it is clear the dog could have led the man. The man insisted on control...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2008, 11:23 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

During the Alaskan Gold Rush thousands of mostly nameless men sought their fortune in a harsh environment and lost. This character is but one of many who died alone and probably undiscovered. By...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2010, 1:31 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The famous short story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London tells of a man, accompanied by a dog, struggling for survival in forbidding primeval wilderness. Its setting is "spruce timberland" in the...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2019, 8:33 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The man in “To Build a Fire” is a young and inexperienced traveler who dies at the end of the story due to his hubris. He thinks, mistakenly, that he knows better than others what it takes to...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2019, 10:06 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The dog's leaving represents the harshness of nature and the animal's deep instinct to survive. When it first encounters the man, the narrator claims, "It was not concerned with the well-being of...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2018, 8:51 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

"To Build a Fire" by Jack London is narrated in the third person and follows the story of a newcomer to the Yukon who decides to travel alone with a dog to visit another settlement. Although we do...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2017, 4:18 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The man compares himself to the Roman god Mercury as he runs along the top of the snow. After the man feels to build a fire, he notices that his arms and legs are freezing and his fingers and toes...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2013, 3:57 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

One good example of textual foreshadowing comes early on: He plunged in among the big spruce trees. The trail was faint. A foot of snow had fallen since the last sled had passed over, and he was...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2012, 7:50 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

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...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2020, 5:29 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The man in the story did not take the elements seriously. His first mistake was not listening to the old-timers who warned him about the dangers of his trek. He thought his intelligence would be...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2013, 6:08 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The unnamed protagonist of "To Build a Fire" is travelling alone, with only his dog as a companion, in order to meet back up with the other members of his party. We don't know exactly why he had...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2016, 12:53 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The citation for Jack London's story "To Build a Fire" in MLA (Modern Language Association) style (8th edition) depends upon how you accessed the work. If you accessed it through an anthology or a...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2018, 4:05 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

"To Build A Fire" by Jack London employs the natural world of the Yukon in winter. This is the conflict that the main character faces as he begins his journey to another mining camp. The...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2012, 7:31 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

In Jack London's celebrated short story "To Build a Fire," the ignorant newcomer attempts to travel ten miles across the Yukon wilderness in temperatures dropping to seventy-five degrees below...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2020, 6:53 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

Nature is totally indifferent to man in Jack London's story "To Build a Fire." Nature is a simple fact. It doesn't care in the least whether the protagonist makes it to the camp or whether he...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2012, 2:51 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

After the protagonist of "To Build a Fire" fails to rekindle his fire, he becomes desperate and looks for other solutions. In this compromised state, he decides to kill the dog so that he can place...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2020, 2:08 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

It was really wonderful to read your question. No need even to review the story to mention the biggest mistakes that stand out in my mind. In my opinion, the absolute biggest mistake the man...

Latest answer posted June 25, 2015, 1:19 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

After the man (the writer doesn't give the main character a name) builds a fire to warm himself up, he thinks back to some advice an old-timer gave him at Sulphur Creek. The old-timer had told him...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2019, 10:08 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

A fiction writer typically gives characters names in order to enable the reader to tell them apart. Since there is no other human character in "To Build a Fire," Jack London had no need to give his...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2013, 11:35 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

London's description indicates that the man's mental functions are limited--not in the sense that he's lacking intelligence, but that his mind is focused narrowly upon superficial and mechanical...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2018, 6:18 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

Evidence that the man does indeed gain knowledge at the end of “To Build a Fire” can be seen in his last words: “You were right, old hoss; you were right.” The man is addressing “the old-timer of...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2016, 8:13 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

In “To Build a Fire,” the protagonist is traveling to “the old claim on the left fork of Henderson Creek, where the boys were already.” This is an area in the Yukon Territory of Canada where there...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2020, 11:48 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

These two stories actually have relatively little in common. But there is one valid connecting point: the man of Jack London's story and the man from the West in O. Henry's are both adventurers who...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2018, 3:47 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

In Jack London's "To Build a Fire," the speaker uses exposition to describe the setting and prepare the reader for what's to come. The first three paragraphs of the story certainly serve as...

Latest answer posted March 10, 2010, 8:59 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

Jack London's adventure story "To Build a Fire," set in the Yukon at the turn of the 20th century, is a perfect example of a "man vs. nature" conflict. The unnamed protagonist is hiking in the...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2016, 11:07 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The man does not belong in this setting. He can only maintain his existence by the artificial means of building fires. The dog, on the other hand, does belong in this setting because it is not far...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2016, 12:06 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The dog is clearly described as being a product of nature and a creature familiar with the conditions, one that knows it shouldn't be traveling at this point but willing to put up with the...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2010, 11:55 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The mood of "To Build a Fire" changes slowly, as the man discovers how unprepared for the cold he really is. At first, the story is told with simple phrases, little excitement, and shows the man's...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2012, 8:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

I think that the man realizes death is coming for him when the snow falls on him and the fire and extinguishes the life saving heat. At this point in the story, he remains very calm. He knows that...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2018, 12:35 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The man has little trouble building the first fire. Working carefully from a small beginning, he soon had a roaring fire, over which he thawed the ice from his face and in the protection of which...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2015, 10:25 pm (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

On a cold and gray day in the Yukon gold country, a man sets out on foot for a camp with his dog. This is his first winter here, and he is said to be a person who understands "things" but not their...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2020, 11:16 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The main theme of this story is a perennial one in the works of Jack London: man versus nature. The hapless protagonist of "To Build a Fire" foolishly thinks that he can conquer nature, that he is...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2018, 10:49 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

Naturalism is often defined as a type of realism that emphasizes the harsher and more brutal aspects of daily life. In Jack London's Yukon stories, and in his fiction in general, we see a raw,...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2019, 6:13 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

The ignorance of the man in "To Build a Fire" is our ignorance: the ignorance of the human race with respect to nature. London's use of dramatic irony gives us an omniscient perspective on things,...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2018, 11:53 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

"To Build a Fire" is about a man traveling through the Yukon, faced with the extreme severity of the conditions (the story makes a point that he was walking through temperatures 75 degrees under...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2019, 7:12 am (UTC)

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To Build a Fire

Think of it this way. Did the dog need his imagination in order to survive the frigid cold? The dog relied solely on his instincts and knowledge of nature to make it out alive. The man, however,...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2016, 11:32 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

In "To Build A Fire," the main external conflict can be expressed as "man against nature" -- it is simply too cold (75 degrees below zero!) to travel alone. The internal conflict is the man's...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2016, 11:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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