Krunal Desai
Mrs. DiVietro
English II Honors
28 Mar. 2015
Learning Target 5: To Build a Fire
In Jack London\'s, "To Build a Fire", the author introduces his argument of how human desire obscures rationality and judgment. When the man travels to the mine at Henderson Creek, London uses the dog as an example of how human intuition is tainted when an aspiration of greed forms. The animal can be regarded as a symbol of instinct, as the author periodically says how the animal\'s conscience told it that the pair should not be traveling. London furthers this argument by depicting how the man forced the dog to travel onto the ice, in order to discern if the ice would sustain his weight. This section exhibits how one\'s desire leads him to commit appalling actions, and as London believes, these actions are for the betterment of one, as it will be of further assistance for that longing. Human desire can be directed towards pride, as an example would be how the man disregarded the older gentleman\'s warning of the weather in the Yukon. Furthermore to this argument, London revisits the relationship between the animal and the man. In regard to the dog\'s wellbeing, the miner felt indifferent towards the animal. A man\'s mutual relation with other beings will become askew when his inner greed and craving permeate through his personality. From this story, it can be agreed upon that London\'s thematic representation of humans is valid, as desire, greed, and pride are the bedrock that blinds the rational thinking of all humans. "His theory of running until he reached camp and the boys had one flaw in it: he lacked the endurance" (London 609). Although the miner understood his fate, his perception of persevering never wavered. London successfully introduced this claim, as it became further ingrained within the plot. As the man nears his end, the idea of desire blocking judgment becomes more apparent, and when he reaches his deathbed, London embeds a portrayal of how this man came to a realization that he was irrational throughout the entire escapade. London\'s efficient use of naturalism describes how all thoughts must have a cause, and with this story, he successfully implicates determinism within the conscience of the man. London again visits the relationship between the man and the animal, and his idea is furthered displayed when the man attempts to kill the dog. A clouded mind, as London believes, dissolves all forms of intuition, reasoning, and even sanity, for a fixed amount of time. "He would kill the dog and bury his hands in the warm body until the numbness went out of them" (London 607). It is understandable that the man wishes to survive, even by these means, but the gradual decrease in sanity is what causes this emphasis. He can no longer cope with the weather, and due to his decision of traveling to this mine, the limited amount of choices spark a mindset that has a main goal of surviving. The use of naturalism and realism portrays London\'s objective tone towards the actuality of what life\'s consequences are.