To Build A Fire by Jack London - Essay Example

The thesis statement this paper would be holding is that man is a frail creature of temperature according to Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”. In the story, the man froze to death because his body was not able to withstand the biting cold out in the snow…
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To Build A Fire by Jack London

Extract of sample To Build A Fire by Jack London

Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that the man, who is the protagonist of the story, ‘To Build A Fire’ by Jack London, encounters biting cold on his way to meet with the boys, and later dies because of his inability to build a fire. The way the man identifies his current condition with that of Mercury is in relation to the way a Winged Mercury, in relation to some of the Roman gods, skimmed across the earth without facing any of the hardship conditions on earth such as the biting cold, which the man was currently experiencing. He likened himself to the Winged Mercury and hoped he also had wings that would enable him to locomote much faster across the cold in order to reach camp and enjoin his boys much faster. This paper illustrates that as a Winged Mercury, he would not take long in the cold, and as such would not require building a fire, hence surviving the biting cold. “He seemed to himself to skim along the surface and to have no connection with the earth. Somehow, he had once seen a Winged Mercury, and he wondered if Mercury felt as he felt when skimming over the earth.” The above quote relates to the man’s thoughts of a Winged Mercury as it skimmed across the surface of the earth. According to him, he did not feel any connection to the earth because of the biting cold that had numbed his whole body. He questioned himself whether a Winged Mercury felt as he did when skimming across the earth....
He requires certain modulators of temperature while still on earth, inclusive of heat to warm him during the cold, and a cool breeze to cool him during scotching heat. This is quite unlike to other creatures on earth, such as the dog, which was the closest companion to the man. While the man was freezing to death due to the biting cold within his surroundings, the dog was warm and fluffy. The dog was so warm that the man once contemplated killing the dog in order to warm himself in the dog’s carcass (London 98). “The sight of the dog put a wild idea into his head. He remembered the tale of a man, caught in a blizzard, who killed a steer and crawled inside the carcass, and so was saved. He would kill the dog and bury his hands in the warm body until the numbness went out of them, then he would build a fire.” Jack London, To Build a Fire, p.97. The above thought is a quote from the storyline by Jack London on how the man wanted to build a fire. It was clear that the man was a frail creature of temperature because compared to the dog, which was following him through the cold winds on his way to the camp, his body, and hands were to numb for him to light a fire. The man was unable to light a fire because the biting cold had numbed his hands to the extent that he could not hold a match and light a fire. The man even contemplated killing the dog and warming himself in its carcass so that he would eliminate the numbness in his hands, and thus be able to light a fire. However, he was not even able to kill the dog because his hands were equally too numb to capture and slaughter the dog, as he could not even hold a knife (London 98). Another proof of the man’s frailty as a creature of temperature is evident through the effect that the ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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