"To Build a Fire" by Jack London

Book Report/Review
Pages 8 (2008 words)
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Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire" tells the tragic story of an unnamed man who travels across the Klondike territory in winter to meet his friends at a mining camp. The setting of the story is Klondike region of Canada near Alaska during the ''gold rush'' which began in 1897 and it is believed London drew inspiration from Jeremiah Lynch's book Three Years in the Klondikes.


Jack London makes his narration poignant by rendering all the feelings and thoughts that passes through the man's mind all throughout the story, and the heroic fight displayed by the man to avert his fate is best narrated by him. The story ultimately ends with the tragic death of the man who fails to cope up with the extreme cold. Jack London is regarded as an idealistic writer as his short stories always bring to the attention of the readers the ideas and ideals that pass through the minds and inner consciousness of his characters. The attempt of this paper is to unearth the idealistic traits in the short story and point out how far Jack London can be regarded as an idealistic writer.
The Columbia Encyclopedia (2007) defines idealism as the "attitude that places special value on ideas and ideals as products of the mind, in comparison with the world as perceived through the senses." ("Idealism," 23491). The man in the story believes in his own ideas and the accepted general opinion that it is unsafe to travel through the wilderness alone does not change his attitude. ...
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