To Build a Fire/Annotated Bibliography

From LitWiki
  • Bowen, James (Winter 1971). "Jack London's "To Build a Fire": Epistemology and the White Wilderness". Western American Literature. 5 (4): 287-289. The dog's survival in "To Build a Fire," symbolically reflects London's idea that man should, sometimes, rely on his intuition truths rather than his intellectual cognitive processes. He appears to suggest that animals live by instinct, individuals with low mental capacity fail, and human beings who use good judgment, balanced by emotional insights, overcome a harsh environment. He had a problem in that he lacked imagination. In the simple things in life, he was quick and vigilant, but only in these things, not in the significances. Rather than representing the victory of instinct over reason, London offers a third choice as a new perspective on human existence. In this case, it would be the old-timer from Sulphur Creek.
  • Hillier, Russell (2010). "Crystal Beards and Dantean Influence in Jack London's 'To Build a Fire (II)'". American Literature. 23 (3): 172-178. In the article Hillier explores the idea that the intense cold that defeats the protagonist is an attribute to Hell and the raging fire. Hillier compares the various times the protagonist tried to build a fire, to the punishments that sinners must suffer in Dante's nine cycles of Hell. The burning of his hand with matches and the numbing cold is his punishment for the man's sins. To conclude, Hillier describes the "ice muzzle" around his mouth as the final cycle of hell. His attitude towards others, nature, and being overly confident is what ultimately destroys him at the end of the story.
  • Pizer, Donald (April 2010). "Jack London's 'To Build a Fire': How Not to Read Naturalist Fiction". Johns Hopkins University Press. 34 (1): 218-227. Mitchell's travels alone to prove his case that "To Build a Fire" communicates the naturalistic reason that man lives in a world that denies him the possibility to travel alone. It is mid-winter in the Arctic during a cold day, that the man is traveling alone. The storyteller is deciding on this choice because of his record of the setting and the idea of the man. The man didn't stress about the shortfall of the sun, since he realizes that it will return in a couple of days. However, we understand very quickly, the man has just a piece of shallow information on the Arctic. As he remains on the bank of the Yukon. He has almost not seen the outrageous danger presented by the cold. This is his first winter. Afterward, the man likewise knows the reality that the sun will return, that it is fifty degrees under nothing, yet he doesn't have the smartest idea about the significance of this reality that it predicts passing for any individual who makes himself defenseless against its capacity to kill.

"The Symbolism of Fire (Examples from Literature and Religion)". Cite journal requires |journal= (help) The article explains the different symbolic meanings of fire in literature and how it is interpreted. The use of the word hope and explanation lines up with how the main character is feeling when he initially gets a fire burning.