To Build a Fire Test | Final 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 does the protagonist begin to do after panicking in Part VI?

2. According to the narrator in Part IV, “The old-timer had been very serious in laying down the law that no man must travel alone in the Klondike after” what?

3. Mercury was a messenger in Roman mythology who wore what?

4. What does the protagonist plan to remove by the fire to dry in Part IV?

5. How does the ending of the earlier version of To Build a Firediffer from the later and more popularized version?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the protagonist do after his fire is extinguished in Part V? What danger does he face?

2. What causes the fire to be extinguished in Part V of the story?

3. What obstacle does the protagonist face with gathering twigs for his fire in Part IV?

4. What is the mental state of the protagonist as he builds his fire after falling through the ice in Part IV?

5. What idea comes to the protagonist after his second fire is a failure in Part V?

6. How are the protagonist’s socks and shoes described as he tries to remove them in Part IV by the fire?

7. What does fire symbolize in the story? What message does the author convey through this symbol?

8. What conclusion does the protagonist come to when his fate appears sealed in Part VI?

9. How does the protagonist go about starting his second fire in Part V? What obstacles does he face in the process?

10. What is symbolized by the ending of the story and the dog’s actions?

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

Discuss the literary element of repetition in the narrative. What are examples of repetition in Parts I and II of To Build A Fire? Why does the author use repetition? How does London’s use of repetition help to develop the tone of the story?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and analyze the motifs of fire and ice in the story. How do these motifs relate to the story’s themes? What does fire represent to the protagonist? What does ice represent in the story?

(see the answer keys)

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