"To build a Fire" by Jack London is just one of the most generally anthologized short stories and also one of mine favorites.

You are watching: To build a fire jack london theme

It's written in the naturalistic style with a third-person omniscient narrator.

It's collection in the Yukon territory of Northwestern Canada, just east of Alaska.

The only two personalities that show up in the story space an unnamed traveler and also a husky, a dog carefully related to the wild wolf. Recommendation is made to other world in the area who the traveler knows, through special mention of an old-timer who available some advice.

If girlfriend haven't check out this story yet, I suggest reading it prior to a synopsis. It's well worth the moment to gain the full experience.


Synopsis of "To develop a Fire"

An unnamed guy travels in the Yukon at nine in the morning. Add by a husky, the is headed for a camp in ~ Henderson Creek.

He is alert come the winter springs that could weaken the ice. In ~ twelve-thirty the stops for lunch and builds a fire.

He continues his journey, but breaks v the ice and soaks self halfway come the knees. The manages come gather sufficient wood to obtain a fire going. Before he have the right to take turn off his moccasins, one avalanche that snow drops from a tree, putting out his fire.

He battles to build another fire, but his frozen feet and also hands do it difficult. A flame catches yet soon walk out.

He do the efforts to kill the dog and also use that is body for warmth, yet he doesn’t have the strength in his hands.

He runs frantically along the trail however succumbs come the cold, freeze to death.

The husky waits, realizes the man is dead, then heads because that the camp.

The number in parentheses listed below refer come the paragraph in the story where the reference can be found.

See more: What Does Bad Beef Taste Like ? Six Ways To Spot Rotten Meat

Theme: The individual vs. Nature

Nature is a formidable opponent. The guy is surprised several times through how conveniently his hands walk numb once he clears his gloves. His toes go numb as shortly as he sits under to eat. (14)

The male battles the frost, but as “a creature of temperature…able come live within particular narrow borders of heat and also cold” (3), that is ill-equipped to confront it alone. After failing to relight his fire, “He was shedding in his fight with the frost. It to be creeping into his human body from every sides.” (38)

The man is travel alone in the brutal cold, in spite of being warned against this by an experienced traveler. There is a degree of strength and also safety in community. When his fire is extinguished he thinks “If he had only had a follow mate he would certainly have remained in no peril now. The trail mate might have constructed the fire.” (24) A lone person is at a significant disadvantage.