Howard is an avid short story reader that likes to help others find and understand stories.

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"To construct a Fire" by Jack London is just one of the most generally anthologized short stories and one of my favorites.

It's written in the naturalistic format with a third-person omniscient narrator.

It's collection in the Yukon region of Northwestern Canada, just east of Alaska.

The only two characters that show up in the story space an unnamed traveler and a husky, a dog very closely related come the wild wolf. Referral is made to other people in the area whom the traveler knows, through special cite of an old-timer who offered some advice.


If friend haven't read this story yet, I imply reading it before a synopsis. It's well worth the time to obtain the complete experience.


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Synopsis the "To develop a Fire"

An unnamed man travels in the Yukon at nine in the morning. Accompanied by a husky, he is headed for a camp at Henderson Creek.

He is alert to the winter springs that can weaken the ice. At twelve-thirty that stops because that lunch and also builds a fire.


He continues his journey, yet breaks through the ice and also soaks self halfway come the knees. He manages to gather enough wood to gain a fire going. Before he deserve to take off his moccasins, one avalanche that snow drops from a tree, putting out his fire.

He battles to build one more fire, yet his frozen feet and also hands do it difficult. A flame catches yet soon goes out.

He tries to kill the dog and also use its body for warmth, but he doesn’t have actually the strength in his hands.

He operation frantically follow me the trail however succumbs come the cold, freeze to death.


The husky waits, realizes the man is dead, climate heads because that the camp.

The number in parentheses below refer to the paragraph in the story whereby the reference have the right to be found.

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Theme: The individual vs. Nature

Nature is a formidable opponent. The guy is surprised number of times by how easily his hands go numb as soon as he removes his gloves. His toes go numb as quickly as that sits under to eat. (14)

The guy battles the frost, but as “a biology of temperature…able come live within specific narrow limits of heat and also cold” (3), he is ill-equipped to confront it alone. ~ failing come relight his fire, “He was shedding in his battle with the frost. It was creeping into his body from all sides.” (38)

The guy is traveling alone in the brutal cold, despite being warned versus this by an knowledgeable traveler. Over there is a degree of strength and safety in community. When his fire is extinguished he think “If he had only had a trace mate he would have remained in no risk now. The trail mate could have constructed the fire.” (24) A lone human is at a significant disadvantage.