To Build a Fire

Does this story have a villain? Who do you think he is?

Why do you think so?

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No, the only thing that could be considered a villain in the story is mother nature herself.......... she's not real. The man is his own enemy.


To Build A Fire

The are certain occasions when non-living 'things' are personified in a manner that sets them up as "adversaries" of the main characters. In the case of London's 'To Build a Fire' the villian, or antagonist may be viewed as the harsh weather. ...Just a note...many teachers tell their students that the 'Protagonist' is the "good guy"...but that is false. The Protagonist is the main character around which the story flows, in this instance, the Man; yet his instinct to survive forces him into an aggressive, desperate and cruel character. (He does plot to kill ther dog to warm his frozen hands...not so nice, huh?) So, for lack of a direct antagonist, I opt to blame the weather for the controversy.

That's an interesting perspective........ which is why I cited "mother nature," above. True, the antagonist may be perceived as the harsh weather, but the harsh weather wasn't unexpected............ it was a given. The man became and was the antagonist because he refused to take cues from the things around him. Therefore he did in fact, serve as his own worst enemy.

No villians. No nothing bad. (I think.)

Oh... nope.