In Jack London's short story, "To Build a Fire," can the weather and landscape be considered antagonists?
There are two kinds of conflict: internal and external. External conflict consists of man vs. man; man vs. the supernatural (or God); man vs. society; and, man vs. nature. This last one would most certainly apply to London's short story. This is certainly the deadliest conflict the man in the story faces.
The author has used the weather (especially) to educate his audience as to the importance of building a fire in the cold in the Yukon. The cold is clearly described with the following imagery that details the tobacco juice the man is unable to spit: it freezes and then shatters like glass. This image gives the sense of "damage beyond repair."
...the man was chewing tobacco, and the muzzle of ice held his lips so rigidly that he was unable to clear his chin when he expelled the juice. The result was that a crystal beard of the colour and solidity of amber was increasing its length on his...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1,159 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial