To Build a Fire Characters

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The dog is a "big native husky" and the man's only companion on the trail. While it depends upon the man for food and for warmth from campfires, the dog is "not concerned in the welfare of the man" and obeys him only to avoid being whipped. The dog is motivated by instinct. Critics Earle Labor and Jeanne Campbell Reesman describe the dog as a "foil" to the man. A foil is a character who sets off, or emphasizes, by way of contrast the traits of another character. In this case, the dog's reliable instincts contrast with the man's faulty human judgment. Unlike the man, the dog can sense that the temperature is below minus fifty degrees Fahrenheit, and despite the natural insulation provided by its fur coat, the dog does not travel willingly in such weather. After it falls into the water on the river trail, the...

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This section contains 606 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To Build a Fire Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
To Build a Fire from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.