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 is the old-timer doing when the protagonist envisions him as he dies in Part VI?

2. What are the shoes called that the protagonist wears in the narrative?

3. The protagonist’s mistake is having built his fire under what, in Part V?

4. The protagonist agitates the tree above him every time he does what in Part V?

5. Which word from Part IV means a large destructive fire?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the protagonist hope to do as a last resort in Part VI? What happens?

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

4. Why does the dog do as the protagonist fades from existence in Part VI?

5. How does the protagonist’s body respond when he begins to build a fire after falling through the ice in Part IV?

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

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

8. How does the theme of “survival” apply to Part IV of To Build a Fire?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

According to the story, the "trouble" with the man is that he is "without imagination" and therefore never speculates about "man's place in the universe," his "frailty in general," or the fact that people are "able only to live within certain narrow limits of temperature." What is the result of this weakness in the story’s plot? Does the man reach any form of enlightenment through his travails?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the element of fear in the narrative. What causes the protagonist to first feel fearful of his situation? How does he cope with this fear? What effect does the protagonist’s fear have on the reader?

(see the answer keys)

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