To Build a Fire


One lesson that may be learned from the story To Build a Fire, by Jack London, is to listen to the advice of others. "The old-timer on Sulphur Creek had told him about it in the previous fall, and now he was appreciating the advice." The man on Sulphur Creek had informed him that making his second fire right was imperative when he had wet feet, and without that advice he wouldn't have tried that, and was more likely to die. Also, "the old-timer had been very serious in laying down the law that no man should travel alone". At the time the man disregarded the advice and went alone, but he regretted it when he could not light the fire by himself with his numbed fingers. A partner would have helped, and listening to the man could have saved his life. ' "You were right, old hoss; you were right," the man mumbled to the old-timer of Sulphur Creek.' This is what the man said as he lay in the snow, all alone except for his dog, and died. He probably regretted not listening to the old-timer of Sulphur Creek more than ever as he died from the cold. He knew the advice was good and he should have taken it.

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