Essay on Jack London

Submitted By littlelittleliz
Words: 546
Pages: 3

Jack London, author of “To Build a Fire,” grew up in San Francisco in a working-class family. His life experiences encouraged London to write numerous collections of novels leading to his title as one of the most well-known writers of his time. Stephen Crane, also a well-known writer, is the author of “The Open Boat.” Crane grew up in New Jersey but traveled from Florida to Germany. London and Crane have a unique style of writing and interpreting naturalism, “action, inclination, or thought based only on natural desires and instincts” (Merriam-Webster). Both author’s base their writing on real life events leading to death, but they illuminate a deeper meaning by revealing the characters inner thoughts and emotional state while struggling for survival. And although “The Open Boat” and “To Build a Fire” are written in different styles, they equally exemplify the power of nature set against man each story struggle for survival in addition to lose of hope. The stories express how men’s thought of power to defeat nature is indifferent to that of Mother Nature, man will never compare to the great forces of nature.
In Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” a smart, observant man is traveling along the Yukon trail with extremely cold weather. On his journey he encounters an old-timer who warns him about traveling any father if the weather was below fifty, yet he ignores his warnings and chooses to continue. Although the man is “quick and alert to the things in life,” he does not realize that nature sets out to defeat him after he ignores his warnings. Before continuing his journey, the man encounters a husky and states of it that it is “the proper wolf dog… It knew it was no time for travelling. Its instinct told it a truer tale than was told to the man by the man’s judgment” (page 128). Throughout his journey the husky is the man’s protection as he uses his instincts to watch for signs of danger, yet the man still manages to step through the ice into freezing water. The man tries to build a fire before his