Naturalism In Jack London's To Build A Fire

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Have you ever thought nature and the events happening around you are shaping and determining your life? This was the thought presented in American literature during the Naturalism movement. Naturalism was a literary movement from 1865 to 1915 in which authors wrote how the natural forces of this earth, such as environmental and social conditions, shape people’s lives. One example of literature from this time period is Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”. In this short story, the setting, themes, and writing style all contribute to revealing how the natural forces of this world control a person’s life. First, the setting of literary pieces during the Naturalism movement generally took place in nature, which aided in showing how nature shapes people’s characters and destinies. …show more content…
This type of writing style is particularly seen in “To Build a Fire”. Jack London uses simple vocabulary, yet very vivid descriptions of the setting and events taking place in his story. The quote, “Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little-traveled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timberland.” is an example of this. Through a good, visual description like that, the reader can actually feel how cold the setting is, see the forest-like area he is traveling through, and how this could be shaping the man’s character through the story. The authors use this visual, descriptive writing so the readers can actually step into the shoes of the character and really understand the idea the author is trying to get across, which in this case is how natural forces shape a person’s

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