To Build a Fire Topics for Further Study
by Jack London

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

Research the symptoms of and treatments for frostbite and hypothermia. Use your findings to discuss the deterioration of the man’s condition in ‘‘To Build a Fire.’’

Investigate the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897: the types of people who participated in it; the ‘‘sourdoughs’’ versus the ‘‘cheechakos’’; the routes they took and the supplies they carried with them; and the dangers they encountered. Compare what you learn about these people with what you know about the man in ‘‘To Build a Fire.’’

As mentioned in ‘‘To Build a Fire,’’ the Yukon River formed the main route for prospectors on their way to Dawson to search for gold. Research the indigenous people living near the Yukon River and the effects of the Klondike Gold Rush upon their way of life.