To Build a Fire by Jack London

To Build a Fire book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

carol-davis eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

"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 protagonist shows his ignorant inexperience by ignoring the warnings of those more experienced than he.  The old timer warned him not to go  without a partner.  In his arrogance and inexperience, he feels that he can handle whatever comes.

His companion was a large husky dog.  With his many coats of hair and his instincts, the dog wonders why they are out in this weather. 

The temperature was somewhere between 50 -75 degrees below zero.  This made no impression on the man.  To him, the temperature just meant that he would be cold and uncomfortable.

As they two traveled through the white landscape, the man spat.  As soon as it left his mouth, it instantly froze, popped, and surprised the man.  

He was keenly observant of everything around him.  Unfortunately, he was unable to know exactly where to step, but for a while he was able to maintain his footing and not get his feet wet. 

At noon, he sat down to eat.  He tried but the ice muzzle of spit prevented him from taking a bite. Laughing to himself, he realized that he had not built a fire to warm up.  When he got up to build the fire, he discovered that he could not feel his legs or feet. 

He finally gathered the fire wood and built the fire. As he began to walk again, the worst thing that could happen did.  He fell through the ice halfway up to his knees. He would have to rebuild the fire and dry out his feet and boots. 

After some difficulty, he had the fire going again. He knows that if he does not dry out his feet, he will lose...

(The entire section contains 642 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial