Howard is one avid quick story reader who likes to help others find and understand stories.

You are watching: What is the theme of to build a fire

"To develop a Fire" by Jack London is just one of the most frequently anthologized quick stories and one of my favorites.

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

It's collection in the Yukon territory of Northwestern Canada, just eastern of Alaska.

The just two characters that show up in the story room an unnamed traveler and a husky, a dog closely related come the wild wolf. Recommendation is made to other world in the area who the traveler knows, through special mention of one old-timer who offered some advice.


If you haven't review this story yet, I imply reading it before a synopsis. It's well worth the moment to obtain the full experience.


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Synopsis that "To construct a Fire"

An unnamed male travels in the Yukon at nine in the morning. Add by a husky, that is headed because that a camp at Henderson Creek.

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


He proceeds his journey, yet breaks v the ice and soaks himself halfway to the knees. The manages come gather sufficient wood to acquire a fire going. Prior to he can take turn off his moccasins, an avalanche the snow drops from a tree, putting out his fire.

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

He do the efforts to death the dog and use its body because that warmth, but he doesn’t have the stamin in his hands.

He runs frantically along the trail yet succumbs come the cold, freeze to death.


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

The numbers in parentheses listed below refer come the i in the story where the reference can be found.

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Theme: The individual vs. Nature

Nature is a formidable opponent. The man is surprised number of times by how conveniently his hands walk numb as soon as he removes his gloves. His toes go numb as quickly as that sits down to eat. (14)

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

The guy is travel alone in the brutal cold, regardless of being warned against this by an competent traveler. There is a degree of strength and also safety in community. As soon as his fire is turn off he think “If he had actually only had actually a follow mate he would certainly have been in no danger now. The follow mate can have built the fire.” (24) A lone person is in ~ a significant disadvantage.