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. When the protagonist’s first fire is extinguished and he decides to build a second in Part V, he realizes that he will probably lose what?

2. What thought puts the protagonist in a panic as he tries to light his second fire in Part V?

3. Where does the dog go in the end of the story?

4. The protagonist thinks to himself as he dies in Part VI, “When he got back to the States he could tell the folks” what?

5. The protagonist pictures the boys doing what the next day as he drifts into death in Part VI?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the protagonist respond after falling through the ice in Part IV? What happens when he falls?

2. How does the protagonist’s emotional state evolve as he works on building his second fire in Part V?

3. Is the protagonist aware of the danger he is in after falling through the ice? What is the danger?

4. How does the protagonist go about building a fire after his fall in Part IV?

5. How is the protagonist able to separate the matches in Part V? How does he attempt to light a match once he does?

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

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

8. Why does the protagonist curse the dog in Part VI? What last effort does he make before accepting his fate?

9. How does the narrator describe the protagonist’s journey when he departs from lunch in Part IV?

10. How does the protagonist react when the fire is extinguished in Part V?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the character of the old-timer in the story. Where is the old-timer from? What do you think he represents in the narrative? How does the protagonist feel about this character? How do his feelings evolve through the narrative?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze and discuss the theme of “Survival in the Wilderness” in To Build A Fire.What symbolism and imagery is used to reinforce this theme? How is the theme illustrated through the characters of the man and the dog?

Essay Topic 3

Define character action, objective, and obstacle in literature, and analyze the actions and obstacles of the protagonist in Parts I and II. How does the protagonist act in the face of the obstacle of the springs? What is the protagonist’s objective at the beginning of the story? What obstacles stand in his way? How does he overcome each of these obstacles?

(see the answer keys)

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