"To Build a Fire"

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  • Molly C.
  • "To Build a Fire"
  • English II Honors
  • Theme: The theme is perseverance. The man does not give up no matter how challenging his situation gets. When the man's fire was blotted out, he knew he couldn't give up and he had to build another fire. "Well, it was up to him to build the fire over again, and this second time there must be no failure. Even if he succeeded, he would most likely lose some toes." Lines 300-302
  • Mood: The mood is foreboding. The first paragraph describes the setting as cold, gray, and dim. "Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little-travelled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timberland." Lines 1-4
  • Tone: The tone is depressing. The setting is described in the beginning of the story. It tells the reader that the man is in a dangerous place and he could die. "The Yukon lay a mile wide and hidden under three feet of ice. On top of this ice were as many feet of snow. It was all pure white, rolling in gentle undulations where the ice jams of the freeze-up had formed." Lines 12-16
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