Naturalism in Jack London's To Build a Fire Essay
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Naturalism in Jack London's "To Build a Fire"
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When Jack London wrote "To Build a Fire" he embraced the idea of naturalism because it mirrored the events of daily life. Naturalism showed how humans had to be wary at every corner because at anytime death could be there, waiting for them to make a mistake and forfeit their lives. He used naturalism, the most realistic literary movement, to show how violent and uncaring nature really is and how no matter what you do nature will always be there. London also presented the basic idea of Darwinism and the survival of the fittest, basically if you are dumb you will die. Collectively, London used naturalism to show how in life, humans can depend on nothing…show more content…
When the man was trying desperately to re-light the fire he removed his gloves and lost all feeling in his hands. If he had remained calm and thought about his situation he might have had a chance to survive. Nature showed no mercy when the man attempted to re-light the fire using only his palms, and he failed. "He was losing his battle with the frost. It was creeping into his body from all sides."(1754) The man's unfortunate mistakes cost him his life and nature felt no sympathy for him. He was just another man who failed to defeat nature for one more day. If the man had brought along a companion for the journey like the old man in the town had suggested he would still be alive. However, his stubbornness would not submit to that. "The old-timer on Sulfur Creek was right, he thought in the moment of controlled despair that ensued: after fifty below, a man should travel with a partner."(1752). Instead the man brought a wolf dog with him to keep him company. The only thing that the dog was good for was as an outlet for the man's jealously when he realized all the mistakes he had made. The man envied how the dog could just sit in the snow and his warm fur would protect him from the elements. The mistakes that the man made reflect everyday life by showing how just one accident or miscalculation can cost you your life. Naturalism utilized the environment to show how fierce and apathetic the world can be. In the opening scene of "To Build a Fire" London used a bleak
Realism and Naturalism in American Literature Stories Essay
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There are two dominate aspects of Realism (Social Rules & Morality), and two dominate laws of Naturalism (Environment & Determinism), that comes into play in the American Literature stories of Daisy Miller ,Frank James, and Jack London. According to one authoritative source (Britannica), realism in its basic form in Literature is a literary style in which the author describes the reality of persons (people) in detail to resemble their actions, emotions, and environment. The strengths and weaknesses are blended in with the characteristics of their flawed personalities by not being completely good or evil, weak or strong. The characters in the stories attempt to make their way through their social environment often coming into conflict with…show more content…
It was more enjoyable to choose one’s way and be happy then to follow the social rules and be damned. Daisy began to walk a thin line between Lady and Tramp in the eyes of the gentlemen from Geneva, Mr Winterbourne, who was from an incredibly disciplined Calvinistic background. In his eyes he was being practical and hesistant to bring moral condemnation on the beautiful and expressionate Daisy Miller. The Judges of High Society, to include Mrs Costello, decided to pass ethical judgement when Daisy’s number of male associates began to climb. Futhermore, the élite bore more proof to condemn; they had “Gossip”, and a woman of that day was to carry herself in such a way as to avoid such claims. This is an example of the doctrine of realism, when one goes against the grain of the philosopy of the day.
Daisy blew off the warnings of Mr. Winterbourne that she would be soon shunned by all the élite class. When Daisy refused to come out the dangerous night air of shame and disgust, Mrs Costello signed her moral death call for. In her eyes this flaunting young whoring flirt could not be saved. Yet, it was Daisy choice to enjoy the moon, the night air, and her friend in spite of the consequences to come. This was an example of the novel of manners that produced moral tensions. Why should she leave her friend and ride in judgement and appeasement? This was not rational. Realist are pragmatic and in this instance so was Daisy.
In Jack London’s To Build a