Howard is one avid brief story reader who likes to aid others find and also understand stories.

You are watching: Theme for to build a fire

"To construct a Fire" through Jack London is among the most commonly anthologized short stories and one of my favorites.

It's written in the naturalistic format with a third-person omniscient narrator.

It's set in the Yukon are of Northwestern Canada, just eastern of Alaska.

The only two personalities that appear in the story space an unnamed traveler and a husky, a dog very closely related to the wild wolf. Referral is made to other civilization in the area who the traveler knows, through special cite of an old-timer who readily available some advice.


If you haven't read this story yet, I indicate reading it before a synopsis. It's fine worth the time to gain the complete experience.


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Synopsis the "To construct a Fire"

An unnamed guy travels in the Yukon at nine in the morning. Accompanied by a husky, the is headed for a camp at Henderson Creek.

He is alert to the winter springs that can weaken the ice. In ~ twelve-thirty he stops for lunch and also builds a fire.


He proceeds his journey, however breaks through the ice and soaks self halfway come the knees. He manages to gather enough wood to gain a fire going. Before he deserve to take off his moccasins, one avalanche of snow drops from a tree, putting out his fire.

He battles to build one more fire, however his frozen feet and hands do it difficult. A flame catches yet soon walk out.

He tries to kill the dog and also use its body because that warmth, however he doesn’t have the toughness in his hands.

He operation frantically follow me the trail yet succumbs come the cold, freeze to death.


The husky waits, realizes the guy is dead, then heads because that the camp.

The number in parentheses below refer come the i in the story where the reference deserve to be found.

See more: What'S A Nine Letter Word With One Vowel Words, What'S A Nine Letter Word With Only One Vowel

Theme: The separation, personal, instance vs. Nature

Nature is a formidable opponent. The man is surprised several times through how easily his hands walk numb when he clears his gloves. His toes go numb as soon as the sits down to eat. (14)

The man battles the frost, yet as “a creature of temperature…able come live within specific narrow limits of heat and cold” (3), that is ill-equipped to challenge it alone. After failing come relight his fire, “He was shedding in his fight with the frost. It was creeping right into his body from every sides.” (38)

The guy is travel alone in the brutal cold, regardless of being warned versus this through an proficient traveler. There is a degree of strength and also safety in community. Once his fire is extinguished he think “If he had actually only had a trace mate he would have remained in no risk now. The trace mate can have built the fire.” (24) A lone person is in ~ a marked disadvantage.