Unknown: Weather and extremely Cold Weather Essay

Submitted By Kiing-Tero
Words: 909
Pages: 4

In Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” a man traveling in extremely cold weather on a Yukon trail in Alaska is determined to meet “the boys” at 6:00p.m, following him is a husky dog. Seeing that the man is new to the place he thinks the weather doesn’t affect him. On this journey he encounters several obstacles due to the weather, but before taking on this experience he was forewarned of the consequences of traveling alone. Due to the fact of rejecting the warning he received, he ends up lying cold and stiff from death. London uses setting, conflict, and characterization to show the dangers of underestimating nature. Through setting London identifies London says in the beginning of the story “Day ha[s] broken cold and grey exceedingly cold and grey” (London 1205). Making us aware of how cold the climate is sets the mood of what to come. Also London is very descriptive about the fact that the man is not only just facing the 75 degree conditions he is inexperienced with the specific area he is traveling through. “He [is] a newcomer in the land... And this [is] his first winter” (1205). With the man not knowing the danger of the Alaskan environment he was sure he could survive with the clothes on his back, biscuits, matches and birch wood he carried along with him. Seeking the mission to make it to the site where the man will meet his friends the man comes across a rest stop, since he is making good timing. He carries a handkerchief that has biscuits with bacon. He builds a fire to eat his lunch and keep himself and the dog who is tagging along with him knows that this weather isn’t fair for a man to be traveling alone.”.. the dog followed at the man’s heels which made it question every movement of the man as if he expected him to find shelter or go to camp and build a fire”(1206). CHANGE/DELETE London uses nature as a source of conflict toward the man. “He knows that the coldest snap [has] never frozen[n] the springs and he knew likewise their danger” (1207). The man knew of several, at least he thought he knew how to detect them. As he continued walking along the trail he came into contact with one of the traps. The man has gotten himself wet from the knees down in one of the spring traps, but before he has gotten trapped so did the dog. He attempted to move the dog across one of the spring traps whom he also had to help out. Seeing that the man was so drenched and cold he had to build another fire. This time he builds the fire under a “spruce tree” (1210). As the man was building the fire he thought “he was safe” (1210). The man is able to get the fire going, by putting different size twigs in the fire waiting for the flame to grow larger so he can take off his shoes and warm his freezing toes. The man is thinking “The fire [is] a success. [And] He [is] safe” (1210). What he didn’t know is all of his success was about to come to an end. “He started to untie his moccasins” (1210). When realizing his fingers was to numb to try to untie the shoestrings that were too knotted and frozen due to the snow, he pulled out a knife to cut them. Soon the