Jack London Writing Styles in To Build a Fire

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Point of view means the perspective from which the story, or narrative, is told. The point of view in "To Build a Fire" is third-person omniscient. In other words, the narrator stands outside of the story and refers to the characters in the third person ("he," "the man," "the dog," "it") and sometimes comments on their behavior and personalities.

The omniscient narrator is by definition all-knowing— able to present not only what the characters are doing and saying but also what they are thinking. Thus the narrator in "To Build a Fire" shows us that the man in the story is observant and careful enough to look for dangerous cracks in the river trail, but he also remarks that the "trouble" with the man is that he is unreflective and "without imagination," so that he never thinks about his own mortality and cannot imagine that...

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This section contains 735 words
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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.