To Build a Fire

what information is revealed to you about the man in the story?


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The author simply calls the man the "newcomer". The newcomer symbolizes the greater folly of man as a species. Man has separated himself from nature. He fails to give her (nature) the proper respect. He does not heed the rhythms and signs which nature gives him. Unlike the dog, which exists with nature, the man's push to overcome destroys him. Thus the man in the story represents how many people have come to view their relationship with the outdoors. The man is stubborn and vain about his abilities. Initially he smirks at the old-timer's advice. He challanges nature by pushing on forward.