To Build A Fire Questions:

Why would it be important to have imagination living and traveling in a harsh climate?

Having an imagination can help prevent your brain from going insane. It keeps your mind off of things that happen around you. It makes you think a lot and distract you from the present.


What other characteristics or qualities does the man have? How are these demonstrated?

The man in the story chooses not to kill the dog. He was contemplating to end the dog’s life for some survival, but he did not because he must have a love for animals and does not have the heart to harm any animal life


When did you first suspect that the man was going to die? How is his death foreshadowed?

When he couldn’t feel his fingers and toes. When the man tried to grab the dog and cut him open he realized he could not because of his frozen fingers. When the thought processed to his brain he then realized he could not feel his fingers nor his toes either. After that had happened he completely wanted to give up and lay in the snow to die.  


Who or what is the “enemy” in this story? How did the man deal with this enemy? What type of conflict is developed in this story?

The enemy in this story is the extremely cold weather. One of the thoughts he had was to cut open his dog and stick his hands in him so he could feel them again because they were so cold. Later near the end of the story, he thought of sleeping to just end his pain and suffering, but he stays awake and is escorted into the camp where there are food and fire providers.


Why do you think Jack London gives no name to the man or dog?

Maybe when writing the story he did not want the readers to get very emotionally attached to the characters. Then when it came time to kill off one or more of the characters it would be less emotional to do so.


What examples in the story can you find that tell you it was written a long time ago? Could the events in the story occur today? Why or why not?

Some of the languages that are used in the book seem to be from a long time ago, like the word chechaquo, or poignant. It probably will not happen today in this world. Our knowledge of freezing temperatures and how to stay warm in extremely cold climates are high. Us as humans have learned from our mistakes from the past and have evolved into greater human beings since then.

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