The Power of Nature in "To Build a Fire" and "The Law of Life" Analytical Essay by writingsensation

The Power of Nature in "To Build a Fire" and "The Law of Life"
This paper details the use and power of nature in two of Jack London's short stories "The Law of Life" and "To Build a Fire."
# 67619 | 1,947 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Jul 12, 2006 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Literature (Comparative Literature)

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This paper reviews and analyzes two particular works from American naturalist writer Jack London who focuses on the weakness, vulnerability and impermanence of human beings, juxtaposed against the strength, power and permanence of nature. This paper details the author's use of nature in his short stories, "The Law of Life" and "To Build a Fire." This paper details the common threads in both stories which include the laws and cycles of nature, the power of nature and human beings' fundamental vulnerability to nature's strength and permanence. This paper describes how in both works of writing, London creates nature, in particular the Arctic cold and snow, as a sort of character in and of itself, with which human beings are forced to interact, based on their being forced to respect nature's own power. This paper also contains various portions of text from both works of writing.

From the Paper:

"Within "To build a Fire", then London implies that an animal's instincts, unimpeded by the prideful stubbornness of humans, are superior to those of humans. Animals, for instance, know that they cannot control nature; therefore, they respect it. Humans, on the other hand, having learned to control a great deal of their natural environment and have, therefore lost their fear of all natural environments. Animals like the husky of this story wisely and instinctively respect the power, mystery, and fickleness of nature; people such as the hiker sometimes do not, to their detriment. Because humans adapt to environments, the man attempting in vain to build a fire believes he can adapt himself even to this one, that he will be, somehow, invincible against the freezing temperature."

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