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Jack London the Fire

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Essay title: Jack London the Fire

London describes the man as a "chechaquo" meaning that he is a new trekker of this land. He creates the man as unimpressionable with regard only to the physical challenges he faces with respect the deathly cold temperatures paired with the absence of the sun. London states that the man neither contemplates nor appreciates the frailty of human existence in such harsh conditions. These flaws in the man prove tragically absent later in the story when death becomes him without the benefit of understanding his place in the wilderness.

2.) The naturalistic perspectives of this story are found in the depictions of the Yukon's inherent dangers of snow, harshly freezing temperatures and solitude. London subscribes to naturalism in his descriptive account of both the story's setting and the treacherous journey that the man follows. Just as naturalism is employed, the romanticism aspect is used throughout the story as well. The description of the rugged landscape is not only naturalistic, but it is also described romantically so as to appeal to the human imagination. The man himself is a character whom exhibits such qualities so as to qualify him for romantic status. Only in romanticism would a man be so foolish as to set across the frozen Yukon unaided by fellow men or at least a dog-driven sled and without any provisions other than a few bacon biscuits.

3.) The entire story itself speaks volumes of how Darwin's timely theories influenced London's ideas and writing style. The premise of the tale is the struggle of strength versus weakness set against the backdrop of a harsh and unforgiving environment that challenges the survival of all those who oppose it. The constant struggle of man versus the natural environment offers a helping of Darwin-developed ideas. London also appears to have been influenced by such ways of thinking when he writes of the man's attempts at killing the dog in order to seek out warmth in its entrails. Such desperate moves highlight the existence, or a lack thereof, of affection or intimacy between the dog and the man. They are correlatives, both relying upon one another for survival. It is fittingly appropriate and somewhat ironic that the dog survives the dangers of both the man and the environment in the end to search out new provision of food and fire.

4.) The man in this story proves to be tragically unprepared for the hardships he faces in the fiercely cold environment. While equipped with plenty of physical protection against the sub-zero temperatures, he lacks the foresight to understand exactly what he has put himself up against. The man fails to respect the destructive force of the cold and snow and thus suffers their existence as diminutive forces that demand respect. His refusal to heed the advice of the old man at Sulphur Creek against traveling alone in such conditions proves to be his downfall. Shrugging off the old man's suggestions, his over-confidence consumes him into thinking that his knowledge and capabilities are greater than that of those with far more experience. Choosing to build a fire beneath a tree laden with snow is ultimately what hinders the man from thawing his extremities by firelight. Poor judgment, not his environment, is what kills the man.

5.) The man's disrespect of authority proves to be the sinful act which destroys his character. In this case there are two separate authoritative bodies that affect his character. With a more literal meaning, the man disregards the advice not to travel alone in such harsh

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