To Build a Fire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What location is 1,000 miles north along the “dark hair-line” of the main trail visible in Part I?

2. The protagonist shoves the dog in order to make it do what in Part II?

3. What is the point of view for the narrative of To Build a Fire?

4. What refers to related series of incidents in a literary plot that build toward the point of greatest interest?

5. What had been the protagonist’s response when the old-timer told him how cold it could get in the country?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the protagonist act in the face of the obstacles at Henderson Creek?

2. What does the protagonist do to warm up as he eats his lunch in Part III?

3. What literary purpose does the dog serve in To Build a Fire?

4. When and where was Jack London born? Who were his parents?

5. What role does the old-timer play in the narrative?

6. How is the protagonist described by the narrator in Part I?

7. What danger does the protagonist encounter at Henderson Creek in Part II?

8. Where does the protagonist decide to eat lunch in the narrative? Why?

9. What stylistic elements characterize To Build a Fire?Give examples in your answer.

10. How does the author use symbolism to illustrate “instinct” versus “reason” in the narrative?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and discuss the character of “the man” in To Build A Fire. What characteristics does the man embody? What are his physical characteristics? How old is he? What is his objective in the beginning of the story?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss the Klondike Gold Rush. When did the gold rush take place? How many people were involved? What environment did these people encounter? How is this period related in the story?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the protagonist’s experience of cold in the narrative. What effects does the cold have on the man? How does the cold affect the dog? What role does the cold have in the plot progression of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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