To Build A Fire Summary
- Date:Jun 10, 2019
- Category:To Build A Fire
Jack London produced a masterpiece with his text; “To build a fire.” it is one of the most accomplished documents that supported the concept of naturalism. When we consider the plot overview, the text surrounds two main characters, a man and his dog.
Here is a quick summary of the text.
A Good Short Summary of to Build a Fire
The plot begins with an unnamed man walking in the snow of Alaska where it is freezing. He is in the company of a husky wolf dog. He is not fazed by the cold. The man is determined to reunite with his friends at six o’clock before an old claim. He is a Yukon newcomer. It gets even colder, and he realizes that the cold is capable of freezing his uncovered cheekbones, but he does not take that seriously and proceeds. He moves along a creek trail very carefully since he knows the danger of getting even a little wet in such conditions. Finally, he makes a stop, for lunch thereby creating a fire.
He then continues moving and breaks the ice below him on his path. This means that he has to build another fire. While he builds a fire, he remembers that an old man once told him never to travel alone when the cold is below 50 degrees. He then thinks of the old man as a little womanish and pats himself on the back for being a real man. He made the mistake of building the second fire under a spruce tree and therefore while he pulls a twig, snow falls from the tree and puts out the fire. Despite this, the man remains calm
The man becomes discouraged by his luck, knowing that he might lose some toes to frostbite if he does not build a new fire. He goes on to gather twigs and some grasses. His fingers are numb, and he fails severally in his attempts to light a match. Therefore, he takes all his matches and clamps them together and lights them all at once to set fire on a piece of tree bark. The fire eventually goes out. He then starts wondering whether the old man was right about not traveling alone
The man, now desperate, decides that he would have to kill his dog. This is so that he could warm his hands inside its body. This is because he heard of how a man who had been caught in a blizzard, managed to kill a steer and crawled inside its carcass for warmth. So, he calls out for his dog. The dog is frightened by something in his voice. It is reluctant but it finally it steps to the man who grabs it. The man realizes that he is unable to kill the dog since he cannot even pull his knife out. So, he lets go of the dog.
The man now realizes that his situation is a life or death. Scared, he runs, following the trail. The dog is at his heels. He figures that running might help in restoring his circulation. He hopes that he would make it close enough to the camp for the boys to save him. He even thinks that even if he lost some toes at least, he would be close to his destination. He fights the thoughts of death and tries to keep on. However, his endurance fails him. Now, his legs are numb and his feet frozen. He had lost feeling in his feet and felt that his feet were skimming across the ice surface. The man stumbles several times, each time picking himself up. Finally, he lies on the snow to rest. The dogs come and sit near him just watching, which makes him angry.
He is terrified by the thought of more parts of his body freezing. This sends him up and running again. When the man falls a final time, he sits quietly. He begins to reflect on his intentions to die with his dignity. He begins to think that he was ridiculous to run around instead of accepting his fate which he now saw as inevitable. The man becomes sleepy. He enters a moment of imagination whereby his friends do find him the following day on the trail. He even feels separated from his body and even stares at his body from the view of his body from the perspective of his imagined boy’s rescue. He eventually dies.
The dog watches him and is surprised about his lack of movement. On moving closer, the dog realizes that the man is dead from the smell. The dog howls for some time. The night approaches and the skies become full of stars. The dog uses its instincts to follow the trail that leads toward the camp. It seeks to find fire and also food that will be provided by other humans.
Now that you have a feel of what the text is about from our synopsis you can, therefore, be confident in writing that book review.