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To Build a Fire

by Jack London

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Do you agree with the title of jack London's story "To Build a Fire"? For what reasons?

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This is an opinion based question and different readers will respond differently to the question. Some readers will think that the title is completely appropriate, and other readers won't agree. Both opinions are able to be defended, so feel free to state your opinion and defend it.

For me, yes, I think the title of "To Build a Fire" is an appropriate and agreeable title. It definitely applies to the story. The main protagonist's fate is directly tied to his ability to light the fire. Readers are likely to assume that had the man been able to start the fire, he would have survived. Granted, he shouldn't have put himself in that situation in the first place, but starting the fire definitely would have given him a much better chance at survival.

The other reason that I like the title so much is that it sounds like an unfinished thought. "To build a fire . . . " is what? By being an unfinished thought, London is forcing the reader to think about finishing the thought. We feel that something is missing from the title. We want that thought to be finished. We need that thought to be finished. That's exactly what the man in the story must have been feeling. He needs and wants that fire to be started to save his life.

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