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Jack London's To Build a Fire

            In "To Build a Fire," by Jack London, a man (who is only referred to as "man" in the story), ignores the warnings of weathered prospectors and travels alone, into the Yukon wilderness during a severely cold winter. The man begins his journey at nine o'clock in the morning, planning to join his partners on the left fork of Henderson Creek by six o'clock at night. He is faced with weather that is seventy-five degrees below zero, but he is not physically or mentally prepared for survival. (London) The combination of several reasons, such as the weather and environment, causes the death of the man. However, the man is responsible for his own death because of his lack of experience, the poor relationship with the dog, and his overconfidence.
             Firstly of all, the man is responsible for his death because he has no experiences of traveling alone in the Yukon wilderness in winter. The man is a newcomer in the land and this is his first winter. He has no impressions of the weather and environment in Yukon. He makes serious mistakes because of his inexperience. For instance, he should not have built the fire under the spruce tree. He should have built it in the open area, so the snow from the tree would not blot out the fire. Moreover, if he has a trail-mate he would have been in no danger even his feet are wet. The trail-mate can build the fire for him. As a consequence; the man's inexperience is one of the reasons of his death.
             Secondly, there is no keen relationship between the man and the wolf-dog. If the man maintains a good relationship with the dog, the dog might save his life. For example, the dog would be willing to go on in front in order to suspect danger on the frozen creek instead of hanging back, so the man would not wet his foot. In addition, at the end of the story, the dog leaves the man and trots off the camp it knows. If the man treats the dog well, the dog might guide the man to the camps it knows or inform the other food-providers and fire-providers to save the man when the man's feet are wet and unable to walk.

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