illustration fo a man in winter clothes lying on the snow under a tree with a dog standing near him

To Build a Fire

by Jack London

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What are all the consequences of excessive pride, as they relate to London's "To Build A Fire"?

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The ultimate consequence of the unnamed man's excessive pride, or hubris, is his death.

If you are thinking analytically, consider the fact that "the man" is nameless. I would argue that while he considers himself great, and more powerful than other, more experienced travelers that have gone before him, history does not even recall his name. It is the "blip on the radar" theory. Our lives are brief, the lasting impact minimal. It is a sort of universal justice that he does not even have the dignity, or remembrance, of a name.

You might also want to consider the dog's role in the narrative. The dog acts on instinct. For example, he knows it is too cold to travel. He knows that the man does not really care for him and shies away repeatedly. The man, on the other hand, does not respect his corporeal needs sufficiently and betrays his instincts. He is punished for his lack of respect.

Another tact is to consider the whole man vs. nature element. It does seem like the snow is out to get him, you know? While he is stupid enough to build his fire under a limb, the snow and wind act almost preternaturaly together to assure that his fire is out and hope is lost.

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