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To Build A Fire again & again & again!

Wow! Ok lets just get to the point, I liked 'The Call of The Wild' when I read it years ago but for some reason this story (To Build A Fire) was a little bit dragging and repetitive for my liking. I cannot express the feeling of frustration that I was overwhelmed with when London continually referenced the same things over and over changing only one world to add diversity and variation to his sentence.

The first sentence of the story reads "DAY HAD BROKEN cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray,"

Paragraph 2 pg 1, "curved and twisted from around the spruce-covered island to the south....and that curved and twisted away into the north where it dissapeared behind another spruce-covered island."

Paragraph 3 pg 2, "A foot of snow had fallen since the last sled had passed."
Paragraph 3 pg 3, "but a dozen inches of snow covered the marks of the last runners."

Obviously there is supposed to be an emphasis on nature and the cold but I just found it to be very annoying when it was done constantly. I see that London may be trying to show the bleak and unchanging scenery of the Yukon area but I cannot be for sure. It is very very very cold and this we can gather from the setting as well the use of the world COLD so many times through out the story. I wonder if you counted, how many times there would be the word COLD or a variation of it such as COLDER?

I don't know what it is but there is also something very strange about stories comprised of only descriptive text rather than any (or very little) dialogue. I guess that is fitting for this story because the man doesn't very well acknowledge the dog at all. I think that the leaving the man's name and identity anonymous was done so that he could act as a faceless representative of every man in the human race.

To Build A Fire: Jack London ASN.

Comments (1)

ChrisU:

I also noticed a lot of repetition in the story... A lot of times, repetition is merely used for emphasis. Although, it could probably be argued that London goes a little overboard.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 31, 2005 9:54 AM.

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