Summary of short story To build a fire’

 Summary of short story ‘’ To Build a Fire’’

To build a fire  is a short story, written by Jack London, he is an American novelist, he born in California in 1876 and died in same city in 1916.

 ‘’ To build a fire ‘’ is a short story, written by Jack London, he is an American novelist, he born in California in 1876 and died in same city in 1916. The story is about a man who has trip by wildlife in harsh weather, without imagination about the consequence of travelling, in another words it’s about man who wants to challenge powerful of nature.

First of all, the title of story ‘’ To build a fire’’ has an expression which take attention of readers, because Jack London used a specific words, that makes us ask many questions about it. And guess that there is a specific fire were important in the story, because to build is an action needs some skills like effort, intelligent.


In the beginning of story, the author describes the characteristic, where the actions will place it. Jack London used his protagonist of story without a specific name ‘’ the man’’ maybe he wants to learn us something important, and anyone can been in same situation, usually naming reflect characters of person. The man decided to trip in a day chilly, cold, dark because absent of sun and frozen, his dog realized that is not day of travelling.

 The author wants to inform the readers that his protagonist of story foolish, obstinate and without imagination. The man discovered that when he spitting into the air, he hears a sharp crackle and realizes that his saliva has frozen, before hitting the snow, that is message from nature to the man to make him come back, but he did not give time to himself to think about it. His dog was not happy about this trip in such chilly weather, he hopes if the man soon stops to make fire.


When the man arrived in creek frozen he felt dangerous if his feet in the ice, so !  he sent dog ahead of him, this one bearks through the ice and his feet go numb, the man surprised, it’s another sign from nature to the man. After the man stops to make a fire and to eat his biscuit, but can’t eat it it was frozen. The man continues his trip and the dog surprised why the man will leave the fire. After walking for while longer, the man breaks thought the ice, he felt his feet will be numb, so he must  to stop and build a fire again, the man successes make fire, then he gave himself time to smoke he felt bight when he remember an old man who told him you should never travel only. While the man enjoying with worm of fire he forget that he made big mistake when he built a fire under  tree, the snow falls and douse fire. Again the man need to build fire, but in this once he has big trouble that because he already cannot feel about his fingers, he tries and tries to build fire, he failed. He looked at his dog so he decides to kill it and use his skin to warm his hands after make fire, the man tries to kill the dog but again he cannot use his knife because his fingers was numb. The man realizes the speech of old man, when he told him never travel alone. So the man started running he thinks if he started running he will be feel worm, after long way, he stopped because he felt shame, because he believe he will die, so he wanted to received the death with honest,  he sits under tree and imagining boys find his body next day. The dog looks at the man and wanders why he did not build fire? After moment the dog knows that the man die because he didn’t move, the dog left him and start looking for place when it can find fire.

To sum up

To sum up, really Jack London sent us message, he wants readers to learn, no one can challenge nature because it’s  powerful than us, and you should not be obstinate, and you must to listing of advice of other people.

Written by a student H.M


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