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Big Mistake

The old-timer on Sulphur Creek was right, he thought in the moment of controlled despair that ensued: after fifty below, a man should travel with a partner.
London, ''To Build a Fire'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

That would such a hard realization to come to terms with when in that situation. The mistake was already made, and it cost him his life. I can't even imagine all of the emotional turmoil a revelation like that could bring on.

On a different note, I found that this seemed to be a common theme among at least three of the four stories: "The Machine Stops," "Everyman," and "To Build A Fire." Each of these contained a grave mistake: "The Machine Stops"--everyone relied on technology too much, "Everyman"--Everyman loved his goods too much, and did not think too much of his good deeds, and "To Build A Fire"--the protagonist went out in the cold by himself, thinking that he didn't need help...that he could handle things fine on his own. In "The River," if there is anything like this, I'm thinking it would be Bevel's plunging himself repeatedly in the water. The only reason I don't think that this is quite the same, is because of his reaction afterwards...he finds peace...he never acknowledges that anything is wrong. In fact, he does this as a way of baptising himself. The only regrets he seems to have are when the river continuously dispels him.


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