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To build a Fire

            The story of "To build a Fire- by Jack London is about one mans lack of ability to survive under extremely harsh conditions. I found this story to be unappealing and a very boring read. I felt that Jack London wrote it more like an instruction manual of survival than a story, as he repeatedly attempts to teach the reader survival techniques such as building fires, avoiding dangerous springs, and navigating a creek. This idea is especially prevalent in the latter part of the story, when the main character continuously refers to what the old-timer on Sulphur Creek had told him about travel in the Yukon, especially alone. As his situation proceeds to grow worse, the narrator thinks more and more about survival ideas that he had learned or that the old-timer had told him. The story even goes as far as killing animals and using their fur as warmth in order to thaw out from the frostbite.
             This idea is also evident with Jack London's character development or the narrator. He purposely created him simplistic and this enabled Mr. London to talk about survival. This concept holds true all the way to the point that we, the readers, do not even learn the narrators or the dogs name. London also tells the readers that his character "was without imagination- and "he was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances."" By not being held down by character development and deep thought by the character, London is able to constantly discuss the what to do and what not to do while in a severe environment.
             While you can argue this was a story of a nave man traveling foolishly through the Yukon, one that attempts to take on nature and loses badly. Yes, this story does involve the aspect of the ignorance of man and their arrogance toward nature and peoples advice. This is portrayed by the narrator through thoughts like, "any man who was a man could travel alone.

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