What is the initial incident and climax in Jack London's "To Build A Fire"?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The initial incident or narrative hook of "To Build a Fire" is the newcomer's realization that it is much colder out that he thought when he left the warmth and safety of the camp.  At the story's beginning, he chooses to set out with only his dog and disregards the oldtimer's advice.  In doing so, he begins the story's main conflict--man versus nature.

In regards to the conflict then, the climax is when the man's foot slips through the ice, gets wet and causes him to have to build a second (and eventually a third) fire.  When he is trying to build the fire to save his life, the story is at its highest tension because he causes the reader to question who will win the conflict--man or nature?

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To Build a Fire

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