To Build A Fire By Jack London And The Ledge By Lawrence Sargent Hall

1473 Words 6 Pages
Naturalistic stories have nature as the main antagonist is nature and it contains darwinistic ideas, like survival of the fittest. Often times the protagonists in these stories end up succumbing to nature and die. The stories "To Build a Fire" by Jack London and "The Ledge" by Lawrence Sargent Hall have these naturalistic themes present. These two stories both share common themes or ideas, but ultimately they differ in the way some of the similar factors are presented or portrayed. "To Build a Fire" takes place in Alaska, where a man drifts away from the Yukon Trail drifts, choosing to take a faster route to meet up with “the boys”(London 65-66) at their camp. Although being warned against the cold, he goes out in it anyways and dies before …show more content…
The man in "To Build a Fire" planned out exactly how fast he needed to walk, so that he could meet the boys at his pre-established time. In the story it says “At half-past twelve, on the minute, he arrived at the divide of the creek. He was pleased at his rate of speed. If he continued, he would certainly be with the boys by six o’clock that evening” (London 69). The man has his entire day methodically planned out, so that he would be at the camp by six. There is no real rhyme or reason for this other than efficiency. The man is trying to get the camp as efficient as possible which is why he has his day planned out like this. However the fisherman in "The Ledge" has his day planned out based on when the tide will come out. Hall writes that “The tide had turned and was coming in… It would be a good hour before they had to leave the ledge…” (Hall 377). The fisherman, the fisherman’s son, and the fisherman’s nephew had been out on the ledge hunting ducks. The ledge, however, was completely submerged during high tide. The fisherman in "The Ledge" had to determine his schedule based on the tide so that he would not end up drowning, while the man in "To Build a Fire"’s schedule was based off …show more content…
"To Build a Fire" contained the cold as an abstract antagonist in its story. The man in "To Build a Fire" was warned not to go out alone in such cold temperatures alone, but the man elected to ignore him and traveled out into 75 degrees below zero with only his dog. As the man continued along his trek, he began to display signs of hypothermia, like confusion, evidently shown when he forgot to start his fire during lunch (London 69). After all the matches had been lost within the snow and the man could no longer move his fingers the author writes that “When he fell the second time… the shaking because of the cold began more quickly. He was losing his battle with the frost” (London 78). The man froze to death because of the harsh cold that slowly froze his body throughout his trip. For the fisherman in "The Ledge" however, the cold was one of many things that went wrong on his hunting trip. The obstacles faced by the fisherman and boys began at the start of their journey when the fisherman forgot his tobacco at home. This caused him to become distracted which led to the fate sealing impediment of the skiff floating away. This left them stranded on the ledge as the water rose. In the

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