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You are watching: Theme of to build a fire by jack london

"To develop a Fire" through Jack London is one of the most typically anthologized quick stories and also one of my favorites.

It's created in the naturalistic layout with a third-person omniscient narrator.

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

The only two characters that appear in the story space an unnamed traveler and a husky, a dog closely related to the wild wolf. Reference is made come other world in the area whom the traveler knows, with special point out of an old-timer who readily available some advice.


If girlfriend haven't review this story yet, I imply reading it prior to a synopsis. It's well worth the time to obtain the full experience.


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Synopsis the "To build a Fire"

An unnamed male travels in the Yukon at nine in the morning. Accompanied by a husky, that is headed for a camp at Henderson Creek.

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


He proceeds his journey, yet breaks v the ice and also soaks himself halfway to the knees. That manages to gather enough wood to acquire a fire going. Before he have the right to take off his moccasins, an avalanche of snow falls from a tree, placing out his fire.

He struggles to build an additional fire, yet his frozen feet and also hands make it difficult. A fire catches yet soon goes out.

He tries to kill the dog and also use its body because that warmth, yet he doesn’t have the toughness in his hands.

He operation frantically follow me the trail however succumbs come the cold, freeze to death.


The husky waits, realizes the man is dead, climate heads for the camp.

The number in parentheses listed below refer to the paragraph in the story wherein the reference have the right to be found.

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Theme: The separation, personal, instance vs. Nature

Nature is a formidable opponent. The guy is surprised several times by how quickly his hands go numb once he gets rid of his gloves. His toes walk numb as quickly as the sits under to eat. (14)

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

The male is traveling alone in the brutal cold, despite being warned against this through an competent traveler. Over there is a degree of strength and also safety in community. Once his fire is turn off he think “If he had only had a follow mate he would have been in no peril now. The trail mate can have developed the fire.” (24) A lone person is in ~ a significant disadvantage.