Conflicts of "To Build a Fire" by Jack London Essay

704 Words 3 Pages
Literature focuses on many aspects to form a coherent and captivating story, mainly those aspects retaining to characters and conflict. Within any story, a conflict arises for a character to overcome which drives the whole story. Conflict, the struggle against many forces of multiple varieties, creates the obstacle or issue a character must face to advance past the problem. In "To Build a Fire" by Jack London, conflict plays a major role in the story. The conflicts of man fighting against nature and man against himself present the struggles the unidentified man from "To Build a Fire" faces and attempts to overcome. These conflicts of man and nature influence the whole story and the fate of the character. The great and disastrous …show more content…
But the tremendous cold had already driven the life out of his fingers."(610). The freezing temperature did not allow him to build a fire, ultimately leading to the man having to succumb to nature. "A good idea, he thought, to sleep off to death."(614). In the end, the man lost the battle against nature. The man's death leads to no resolution of the conflict as the man never accomplished his goal of survival. Not only did the below seventy-five degree weather provide an external conflict, but the man himself became an internal conflict against himself. His mentality suffers and his own intentions and instincts begin to work against him, adding extra struggle. "Fifty degrees below zero was to him precisely fifty degrees below zero."(604). His ignorance puts him in severe danger, therefore, making himself a danger to himself. Along with having a troubled mentality, he physically cannot accomplish his goals. "But it was all he could do, hold its body encircled in his arms and sit there. He realized that he could not kill the dog."(613). As the story progresses, the conflict of man against himself displays itself through the means of the man unable to survive by simply having no way to accomplish tasks such as lighting matches or killing the dog for warmth. Similar to the external conflict, the internal conflict of man against himself does not Filer 3 become resolved. The man never overcame his own mind and body until it became too late

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