The Nature Of Instinct

Paper Rating: Word Count: 941 Approx Pages: 4

In "How to Build a Fire  Jack London characterizes a man and his dog traveling a Yukon trail. The man sets off with his dog despite grave warnings from a village elder that traveling at “50 is extremely dangerous. The dog is the stronger and the instinctively smarter character in the story. The dog may not understand the reasoning behind its frailty, but it listens to its instinct non the less. The man with all his worldly knowledge really believes he is above nature, while the dog follows his instincts and out lives the man in the end.

The story begins with the man and the dog traveling in to the Yukon at dangerously low levels of temperature. The man knows that it is tremendously cold, but "it made no impression on the man.  (London 223) The dog "knew that is was no time for traveling. It's instinct told it a truer tale than is told to the man by the man's judgment.  (London 224) This line is a powerful foreshadowing of the terrible events to come. The dog listens to its instinct and feels or sub-consciously knows the danger it faces, while the man believes he is above the danger. "The dog did not know anything about thermometers. Pos

This Essay is Approved by Our Editor

Page 1 of 4 Next >

Related Essays