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To Build a Fire Essay & Criticism

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Critical Overview

Since its first publication in 1908, Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire" has been wellreceived. Today, it is regarded as a classic of American literature. In his literary biography, Jack London: The Man, The Writer, the Rebel (1976), Robert Barltrop asserts that "To Build a Fire" is one of a group of "outstanding stories" which distinguish London "as one of the masters of that form." Similarly, James Lundquist ( Jack London: Adventures, Ideas, and Fiction, 1987) describes the story as "starkly elegant, a masterpiece of quiet tone and subdued color . . ." and points out that it is the most frequently anthologized of all of London's works. Earle Labor and Jeanne Campbell Reesman ( Jack London, 1994) likewise praise "To Build a Fire" as a "masterpiece," while in Jack London: An American Myth (1981), John Perry credits the story with being "fine-textured."

Indeed, stories like "To Build a Fire" helped establish Jack London's reputation as...

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This section contains 722 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our To Build a Fire Study Guide
Copyrights
To Build a Fire from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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