A summary of the short story to build a fire by jack london

Plot summary[ edit ] The story opens with Buck, a large and powerful St.

A summary of the short story to build a fire by jack london

Unfortunately, unanticipated complications make this relatively short journey impossible. Despite the gloomy, bitter, numbing cold, the man is not worried, even though he has reason to worry. At first he underestimates the cold. He knows that his face and fingers are numb, but he fails to realize the seriousness of his circumstances until later in the story.

As the story unfolds, the man gets progressively more worried about the situation. At first, he is simply aware of the cold; then be becomes slightly worried; finally, he becomes frantic.

His only companion is his wolf-dog. The animal, depressed by the cold, seems to sense that something awful might occur because of the tremendously low temperatures. The dog is frightened, and its behavior should show the man that he has underestimated the danger.

He decides to stop and rest. His face is numb, and his cheeks are frostbitten. He begins to wish that he had foreseen the danger of frostbite and had gotten a facial strap for protection. He tells himself that frostbitten cheeks are never serious, merely painful, as a way to soothe himself psychologically and force himself not to worry about the cold.

He knows the area and realizes the danger of springs hidden beneath the snow, covered only by a thin sheet of ice.

A summary of the short story to build a fire by jack london

At this point, the character is very concerned about these springs but underestimates the danger. Getting wet would only delay him, for he would then have to build a fire to dry off his feet and clothes. Every time he comes on a suspected trap, he forces the dog to go ahead to see if it is safe.

He begins to feel increasingly nervous about the cold. He is pleased with his progress, but, in reality, he is simply reassuring himself that there is no need to worry.

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He decides to stop and eat lunch, a lunch he had planned to eat with his friends at the camp. His fingers are so numb that he cannot hold his biscuit. He reflects back to the time when he had laughed at an old man who had told him how dangerous cold weather could be.

He now realizes that perhaps he had reason to worry and that he had forgotten to build a fire for warmth. The fire has restored his confidence, but the dog wants to stay by the warmth and safety of the fire.

Lulled into a false sense of security by the fire, he has become less and less aware of his surroundings and steps into a hidden spring, which wets him to his waist.To Build a Fire study guide contains a biography of Jack London, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

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