To Build a Fire

The man's rationality proved to be useless against the Klondike's wilderness whereas the dog's instinct helped him survive. Discuss with reference to To Build a Fire.

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Jack London specialized in stories about the wilderness. His running theme involved the raw majesty and power of the elements. Naturalism was London's mantra and this story is a perfect example of this. In "To Build a Fire" the setting is in the Yukon. Unlike the man, the dog has naturalism built into his DNA. The dog and nature are in sync. The dog has been conditioned by generations of evolution and he instinctively understands what to do and when to do it. The dog also has the genetics (has fur) to survive better than man. The man only has rationality which is clouded by his hubris.