To Build a Fire Brief Summary
One cold morning, a man travels along the Yukon accompanied by a husky wolf-dog. Unfazed by the cold, the traveler who is determined to meet his friends by dusk soldiers on. However, it becomes colder, and he realizes his cheekbones might freeze. He therefore stops and builds a fire.
The man continues but suddenly falls on the snow, wetting himself in the process. He decides to set up another fire to dry his hands and feet. It is then that he remembers a warning never to travel alone in the Klondike when temperatures are -50оC.
This man, therefore, goes under a spruce tree to make a fire using its twigs. However, he agitates the tree and a load of snow up to the tree avalanches and bloats out his fire. Scared, he quickly tries to build another fire aware that he will lose some fingers to frostbite. He gathers grasses and twigs then unsuccessfully use all his 70 matches to light a fire.
He becomes desperate and decides to kill the dog. However, the dog senses his strange, fearful voice but still comes to him. The man is unable to kill it with his numb hands. He releases his dog and starts running in a bid to restore circulation and reduce the frostbite. Unable to endure he falls. However, the thought of freezing is unbearable, so he tries to run but falls again.
To reduce the misery of his death, he imagines his body being discovered by his friends. He falls off into a deep sleep. The dog is confused about why the man is sleeping without making a fire. As night falls, the dog comes closer to the man and discovers that he is dead. It then runs back towards the camp.