Sample Free essay on To Build a Fire, by Jack London

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In this story a man is travelling on the Yukon train and it is a very cold day. The cold does not serve as a hindrance to the man who is a new comer in the area because he is determined to meet his friends. However, why is the man travelling without keeping himself warm and with shoes yet it is very cold? Why is he thinking of killing the dog, his only companion at the moment? Thesis The aim of this paper is to understand why the man would opt to go to meet his friends without keeping himself warm, his ways of reasoning to keep himself warm are not clear and how the nature of human beings is portrayed by the acts of this man.

The man seems controlled more by the id in the sense that his reasoning does not go ahead to find out if there are any consequences that will occur as a result of his actions. The bigger dependence on the id solutions leads to the death of this man which makes him lose everything because he could not keep himself warm and does not manage to meet his friends.

            The character in the story is portrayed as someone who does not feel a negative impact on the consequences that are likely to occur. Most of the measures undertaken are from a desperate move. The ego and super ego cannot manage to control his thinking. After the day ends, he feels like he has lost because he is not able meet his friends, at the same time he does not manage to keep himself warm. The man is a representative of human beings who rarely give a second thought about their activities and live to regret later. They live a life full of guilt and punishments.

            The id controls actions of this man because he does not sit back to think about the consequences of his reasoning. His mind is unorganized and cannot afford to plan its activities to come up with an appropriate solution on what he is experiencing at that moment. He acts with reference to the pleasure principle with the intention to avoid pain. His intention is to seek an immediate remedy to what he is undergoing. For instance, the idea of killing the dog is a pleasure principle as he forgets that the dog is the only companion he has who can protect him (London 151). Warmth cannot be derived by placing your hands in the dog since when it is dead the body will become even colder. Most activities in the story are done unconsciously and in a negative character. The mind is full of chaos, a condition that makes him want to kill two birds with one stone. This means that he wants to keep himself warm and go meet his friends at the same time.

The ego, on the other hand, has been completely defeated in handling the issues. The ego deals with the reality principle whereby its intention is to please the id by ensuring that it tells the reality. The good thing is, reality is meant to bring in a long term benefit after experiencing grief. The ego acts as a mediator between the id and the reality. In this context, it leaves the id in a state of suspense on what to choose from. It offers the man a variety of options to decide on, in order to keep him warm (London 153). The ego tries to bring together conflict and reality so that they can reach a consensus. Reason and common sense prevails here yet this is not very vital for the man because he has seen his reasoning as the best.

For the super ego, it aims perfection because it has an organized personality structure which is the unconscious. It tends to punish misbehavior and this is seen in the story, at the end where this man cannot manage to keep himself warm and freezes himself. The punishment is done through feelings and guilt. It is a punishment for the man when he decides to start running in order to keep himself warm and ends up tired, and when he is forced to sleep and rest in the snow. The thoughts of his friends, finding him dead are feelings of guilt that have started to build up in his mind and have to desperately struggle to do away with them. The man dies and the dog is left alone forcing it to run for its safety in the camp. This is punishment to the dog too because it has nowhere to go and live and does not know the friends of the man.

            Nature and human beings tend to be related and the actions of one will affect the other either positively or negatively. The only distinction is, human beings have been placed as the superior objects when compared to nature. Nature, therefore expects human beings to be the ones that control the ongoing processes of the universe (London 154). With reference to the man in the story, it would have been sensible if he has kept himself warm because the weather of the day cannot be changed. It is through the natural environment that man has been able to evolve and progress naturally. Being a superior being, he has been distinguished in terms if thinking, feeling and the way he acts. Nature has a variety of composition that tends to change from time to time. It is the responsibility of human beings to respond to the changes in an appropriate manner for them to survive. This man should have been able to follow the instructions given to him initially

            The man has ignored the weather changes and thought that he could manage without keeping himself warm and this has led to his death (London 156). Nature cannot be changed and it cannot be regulated but human beings have the ability to change themselves in order to suit into the requirements of nature. On the other hand, human beings can change nature to meet their demands as long as the changes introduced do not end up having a negative impact on other human beings.

            It is always advisable to think twice before undertaking actions. This will help reduce adverse impacts that maybe experienced. Climate changes are there to come and go but human beings are always the same, who only change in terms of age and personality. They are the ones who react to the incoming changes.