Life Requires Imagination Essay

Life Requires ImaginationNot very many people have looked death in the eye. But, when a person does it is something can have a drastic effect on them. Some people are able to survive their deaths, however some end up passing on and are not able to turn their lives around. However, in the short story To Build a Fire by Jack London the man in the story does not survive his dance with death. In the story, the man, whom never gets a name, embarks on a very cold, very long journey to a mining camp. On his journey, he has to stop several times and build a fire in order to keep himself warm and keep himself going throughout his journey to the camp. He has a dog lead him, and then he must save the dog as it fell through the ice. Soon after, he ends up falling into the ice himself, he continues to build the fires to keep himself warm but the dog seems to stay closer to the fire than he does himself. This is acting as the dog trusting it’s instincts to stay warm. However, the fires are getting harder and harder to start. Soon in order to get the fire started, he uses the rest of his matches all at once for an attempt to get a good fire. However, all the matches go out, and then the man knows he really is in trouble. He decides to just lie down and face his death. As he slowly dies, he drifts into the most wonderful sleep he has ever known. He eventually dies and the dog howls to the moon as he passes away. This story is meant to teach the meaning of life. There are hard times and there are times when the fire just starts without hesitation. And eventually in life, a person must pass on. London uses three themes in his story to help the reader understand what the meaning of life is to London. The three themes that London uses are pride, …

…s the dog, takes off his gloves and begins to do the same thing (13). Although the man does follow some of the instincts of the dog, he still thinks his judgment is better than the dog’s. Again London mentions the dog and being around the fire. He states “The man did not know cold” however “the dog knew; all its ancestry knew, and it had inherited the knowledge” (16). Throughout this entire story, the dog shows how his primitive instincts overpower the judgment of the man, and ultimately, the man loses his life because of the judgment he chooses to use.In this story, London uses a man on a journey to show how a person must use certain things in their life. Although a person may want to maintain their pride,

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Works CitedLondon, Jack. “To Build a Fire, by Jack London.” To Build a Fire, by Jack London. The World of Jack London, n.d. Web. 12 May 2014.


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