Questions and Answers for To Build a Fire

To Build a Fire

What is the conflict in "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

3 educator answers

To Build a Fire

In Jack London's story "To Build a Fire," what does the relationship between the dog and the man reveal, and which...

In Jack London's short story, "To Build a Fire", the man is a newcomer to the wildness of Alaska, and against all advice, he starts out for his camp alone except for his dog. The man and the dog...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2015 12:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What is the theme of To Build A Fire?

In To Build a Fire, one theme is survival in the wilderness. The man who is traveling alone, except for his dog, is a newcomer to the region. He has no idea how cold it really is in the Klondike...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2011 11:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

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

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

What are examples of imagery in "To Build A Fire"? Can you please help me with at least three examples?

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

3 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What is the moral lesson in the story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London?

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

What is an example of foreshadowing in "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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What are the conflicts in the story "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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

Why is it significant that the main character has no name in "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

What key advice did the old-timer from Sulfur creek give the man in "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

In the story "To Build a Fire," what advice from an old-timer does the man choose to ignore?

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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What are the similarities and differences between "To Build a Fire" by Jack London and "After Twenty Years" by...

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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What is the relationship between man and nature in "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

3 educator answers

To Build a Fire

In "To Build A Fire", by Jack London, what is the significance of the dog's final movement towards civilization at...

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

Summarize the plot of "To Build a Fire" by Jack London.

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

What are the metaphors and similes in "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

4 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What is "Naturalism" in "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

3 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What's the setting of the story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London?

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

How does the conclusion of the story contribute to its overall meaning? Consider the fates of both the man and the...

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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What is naturalism, and how does Jack London's "To Build a Fire" represent it?

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

4 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What are examples of irony in "To Build A Fire"?

Situational and dramatic irony are both present in "To Build a Fire." Dramatic irony occurs when a reader has more information or knowledge about a character or situation than a particular...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2019 2:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

How does the theme of Man vs. Nature pertain to "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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What are some of the mistakes in judgment that the man makes during the course of the story "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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

How do the man and dog approach the intense cold differently, and what point is London making with this difference?

The dog is guided by instinct, while the man must rely on human judgement, which is unreliable. When faced with extreme cold, the dog experiences "a vague but menacing apprehension that...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2008 7:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

Why do you think the protagonist in "To Build a Fire" is referred to as "the man" as opposed to being given a name?  

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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What is the author's central or main idea in "To Build a Fire"?   Please explain.

I feel that a theme (main idea) of London's "To Build a Fire" is a theme that he frequently uses in his writings. That theme is the theme of nature's indifference to humans. Granted, the man...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What purpose does the dog serve in this story? How do London's descriptions of the dog reveal its function in the story?

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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

Give a list of the main events that the character faces in "To Build a Fire" by Jack London.

"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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What message does London convey in his story "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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

How does Jack London's "To Build a Fire" illustrate the elements of naturalistic literature?

"To Build a Fire" is naturalistic in that it looks at the story's protagonist in much the same way as a scientist would observe microbes in a petri dish. We observe the unnamed man from a distance...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2020 8:10 am UTC

3 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What is the mood of the story "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

The moral of "To Build a Fire" is that survival requires imagination. Agree or disagree? 

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

Dramatic irony describes a situation in which the reader has information or knowledge that character in the story...

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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What is the author's tone toward the man in "To Build a Fire"?

In "To Build a Fire," Jack London deliberately separates the consciousness of the man from that of the narrator. This serves to highlight the chronic lack of awareness demonstrated throughout the...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2018 12:18 pm UTC

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

Where does it state the internal conflict in the story "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

To Build a Fire

What is the climax and resolution of Jack London's short story To Build A Fire?

The climax of Jack London's short story To Build a Fire occurs when the story's protagonist, simply referred to as "the man," warming himself after falling through the ice in the extreme, frigid...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2017 3:46 am UTC

3 educator answers

To Build a Fire

Throughout the story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, the man remembers "the old-timer on Sulphur Creek" and his...

The first occasion occurred when the man tried to eat his sandwich. Unfortunately, his mouth was frozen shut and he regretted that he had not already made a fire. He then discovered that his...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2017 1:22 pm UTC

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

London writes, “He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances”...

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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What is the relationship between Man and Nature in "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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

In "To Build a Fire," what are some details describing how cold it is outside?  

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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

How many fires did the protagonist build in "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

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

What are some similarities between the dog and the man in "To Build a Fire"?

Physically, the dog and the man are both dying from the cold. It is so cold that they are caked with ice. The frozen moisture of its breathing had settled on its fur in a fine powder of frost, and...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2015 1:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

Give a brief summary of “To Build a Fire”, putting important events in chronological order. Please help. Thank you :)

The story begins with the unnamed man travelling on foot through the wilderness. He realizes it is actually far colder than 50 below but doesn't worry about it. His only companion is a dog, the...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2011 10:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, why does the man go on the trip in the first place?

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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

Introducing the man, London describes as being ''quick and alert'," but ''without imagination." How does this lack of...

In "To Build a Fire" since this is the man's first trip to the Yukon and he is not acquainted with the extreme cold, and since he lacks "the imagination," He was quick and alert in the things of...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2009 1:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What is the climax of the story "To Build a Fire"?

The climax, or point of highest emotional intensity, in "To Build a Fire" occurs after the man's first fire is extinguished and he is unable to start a second. In Jack London's story that...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2016 3:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

Discuss the ending of "To Build a Fire" and the impact on the story.

Jack London's “To Build a Fire” is the story of an unnamed man, traveling with his dog in the Yukon in extraordinarily cold conditions. He follows a “dim and little-traveled trail,” planning to...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2012 1:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

In Jack London's "To Build a Fire," how does the setting help create the mood of the story?

In Jack London's "To Build a Fire," the cold, desolate setting of the story creates a mood of hopelessness and desperation that persist throughout the story. The story takes place in the Yukon...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2018 5:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

To Build a Fire

Why does the man in Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire" set off in the freezing cold in the first place?

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

1 educator answer

To Build a Fire

What is an example of cause and effect in the story "To Build a Fire?"

I love this question because a reader can answer it in through a big picture lens or a small, narrower view. Let's start with the ultimate effect. The man dies. I could make the argument that this...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2019 4:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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