"To Build a Fire" by Jack London

London's tale takes us into the heart of the Yukon territory. This Naturalist story delves into the question of fate. Is man in control of his own future, or is he simply at the mercy of an indifferent natural world? London criticizes the hubris of his protagonist when he declares, "The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances." This unnamed protagonist is likely left anonymous to demonstrate nature's disinterest to the man's plight.

The role of Nature in London's work is that of a harsh and unforgiving climate that cares not about the plights of mankind. London's narrator believes that he should easily be able to handle the temperatures of 75 degrees below zero alone, but his arrogance leads to his ultimate downfall. London set the work in the Yukon based upon his own experiences during the Yukon Gold Rush which brought many adventurers to the great north in search of riches and glory.

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Credits:

Created with images by bigbirdz - "Snow" • Cristiana Bardeanu - "Snow" • Cristiana Bardeanu - "Snow" • flyupmike - "wintry snow firs" • douglasalisson - "Husky" • bigbirdz - "Snow" • Sean MacEntee - "Snow" • jarmoluk - "winter snow tree" • Cristiana Bardeanu - "Snow" • Cristiana Bardeanu - "Snow" • macebo - "tree winter snow"

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