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Word Count: 1,182
On the surface Jack Londons To Build A Fire is the tale of a traveler making his way through the Yukon on a severely cold day The consequence is expectantly tragic but a deeper revelation can be discerned from this symbolic tale Although mans use of intelligence makes him superior above other animals it is his abandon to instinct that at times makes him inferior The traveler starts out on an ominous and oppressively cold morning He is an inexperienced newcomer to the unforgiving region An old timer has warned him that the weather is unsuitable for traveling alone The traveler due to arrogance and the prospect of finding timber has chosen to ignore the warning Accompanied by his dog a native husky the traveler is determined to make it to the next campsite by days end Londons ability to communicate the environment along with the severity of the climate to the reader is superb Day had broken cold and grey exceedingly cold and grey The Yukon lay a mile wide and hidden under three feet of iceAs he turned to go on he spat speculatively There was a sharp explosive crackle that startled him He spat again before it could fall to the snow the spittle crackled As man and dog travel they appear tortured by the cold The dogs coat is covered with a fine powder of frost The man his breathing labored is also covered with frost his facial hair encrusted with frozen tobacco juice It is a little past noon when the man makes his first mistake Crossing a frozen creek he cracks through the ice wetting himself halfway to his knees Building a fire to dry out his wet clothing is imperative and the man quickly moves to higher drier ground In the process of constructing a fire the traveler feels his hands and feet quickly going numb Once the fire is burning with strength and the traveler is removing
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