To Build a Fire

What are the struggles and obstacles that the main character faces?

Any struggles in the story that he goes through

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Last updated by jill d #170087
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The man in To Build a Fire is struggling against inexperience and the elements. It is a "true" man against nature story, albeit the man involved is actually quite ignorant of the things nature has in store for him. Brutal cold (frostbite), unexpected accidents (the snow putting out the fire, getting his feet and footwear soaked in the snow), and even knowingly using all of his matches at the same time. The man struggles against his own decisions, which are arrogantly made in ignorance. In the end, he was his own worst enemy.

I use this story with my book club; you can link the results of our discussion and a summary of the story below.


To Build A Fire

There is the intense cold. It's like -70 degrees out. The man is also a "newcomer". He is not used to the Yukon. The man doesn't heed nature's warnings. He gets his foot wet and will probably lose it. His dog hates him (THE MAN IS A JERK TO HIS DOG) so the man has nothing to help him. The man makes the mistake in his final attempt at fire starting it under a snow covered tree.