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To Build a Fire Essay

  • Date Submitted: 05/01/2013 02:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.9 
  • Words: 471
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In “To Build a Fire”, by Jack London, a newcomer spends his first winter in the Yukon. But before he did that he should have read Laurence Gonzales’s short story Deep Survival.   She talks about organization, surrendering, but at the same time not giving up.   If the man in “To Build a Fire” had read Deep Survival, he would have had a better chance of living through his ordeal.
Organization is a key thing when you are trying to survive.   Laurence Gonzales mentions in the 3rd point that, “survivors quickly organize, set up routines, and institute discipline,” (Gonzales, pg 100).   If he had organized better he would have remembered what the old-timer on Sulpher Creek had said.   He had told him to bring a partner if the temperature is 50 below zero.   He should have thought it out better when he knew he was going to be going to the Yukon for his first winter.   He should have researched it better.   He should have also become a leader for himself.
In Deep Survival, Laurence Gonzales says that, “Survivors manage pain well,” (Gonzales, pg 102).   She also says that when you store information away, like the fact you are going to die, “That sort of thinking is what John Leech calls ‘resignation without giving up.   It’s survival by surrender,’ (Gonzales, pg 102).   This is exactly what the man in “To Build a Fire” did.   At the end of the story, he got the good idea to, “… sleep off to death.   It was like taking an anesthetic,” (London, pg. 94).  
Even though Gonzales talks about surrender, her next point, # 12, says to never give up!   She says, “Survivors aren’t easily frustrated… They accept that the environment is constantly changing… Survivors always have a clear reason for going on… They come to embrace the world in which they find themselves.   In the aftermath, survivors learn from and are grateful for the experiences they’ve had,” (Gonzales, pg. 102).   Even though his fire goes out the first time of many times, the protagonist in “To Build a Fire” keeps trying to keep...


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