To Build a Fire | Critical Essay by Nancy Clasby

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of To Build a Fire.
This section contains 2,151 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Arnold Chapman

Critical Essay by Nancy Clasby

SOURCE: “Jack London's ‘To Build a Fire’: A Mythic Reading,” in Jack London Newsletter, Vol. 20, 1987, pp. 48–51.

In the following essay, Clasby maintains that in “To Build a Fire” London's “unquestioned myth-making ability has produced an extreme expression of a common archetype.”

D.H. Lawrence observed, in his Studies in Classic American Literature, that the quintessential American hero is a divided person. Natty Bumpo of the Leatherstocking Tales stands first in the line of these dual heroes, paired with his dark companion, Chingachgook. Ishmael and Queequeeg, Huck and Jim follow in a succession leading to such twentieth century pop-culture icons as Batman and Robin. Lawrence theorizes that the excessively dualistic quality of the American male psyche required that the emotional, instinctive aspects of the self, which...

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This section contains 2,151 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Arnold Chapman