To Build a Fire Essay

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In the following excerpt, Hedrick discusses London's depictions of "aloneness," comradeship, and death in "The White Silence," "In a Far Country," and "To Build a Fire."

His purse exhausted after a year at the University of California, in 1897 London joined the second wave of fortune-hunters in the Klondike. He returned with little more than a case of scurvy to show for his efforts, but the stories he wrote from his Alaskan experience established his literary career. In them we can see the lineaments of a hero who would never appear in London's "civilized" fictions. He represents the most fully mature and human character London was to imagine. The aloneness of this Alaskan hero is different from the aloneness of London's romantic heroes. Martin Eden's aloneness grows out of a syndrome of self-abasement and self-exaltation like that which was operating in London's consciousness as he entered the middle class...

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This section contains 3,138 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To Build a Fire Study Guide
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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.
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