To Build a Fire

Describe what the man does after releasing the dog.

How do his feelings of pannic affect his behaviour?

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He lets it go, and it moves away from him. The man tries to restore circulation in his hands, but they are lifeless.

The man realizes that frostbite is now a less worrisome prospect than death. He panics and runs fearfully along the creek trail, the dog at his heels. Perhaps the running will restore his circulation. Even if he loses some fingers and toes, he might at least near his destination, where the boys could tend to him. He keeps blocking out the thought that he will soon die. He feels like his frozen feet are skimming across the surface. But his endurance gives out, and finally he falls and cannot rise. He decides to rest, then later walk. He feels warm within, although he has no sensation. He fights against the thought of his body freezing, but it is too powerful a vision, and he runs again.

He falls again, and the dog sits nearby and watches him, which angers the man. The man makes one last panicked run and falls once more. He decides he has been acting foolishly, and it would be better to meet death in a more dignified manner.