Friday, March 23, 2007

Not In The Significances

Journal No. 23
English 48B
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I Chose: Jack London

From "To Build A Fire"

I. "He was a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter. The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances."

II. Jack London is exposing the main character's flaws in the beginning of the story to lay out the plot. He gives the reader a foreshadowing of what's to come.

III. In the beginning of the story, London sets the reader up to understand what the man is about. He is committed to doing something and he is not going to back down. The man has wisdom about the things in life, but not about what makes the things in life what they are. This character is not too unlike Sui Sin Far's American young male neighbor in "Mrs. Spring Fragrance." Though he believes that he understands what it is to love and to lose, he really only understands the superficial aspects of love. With the man in London's story, he only understands what he wants to. He constantly fails to recognize that though he may be tough and strong, he is not smart. He forgets (or maybe completely failed to have knowledge in the first place) that he needs reasoning and rationale behind all of the vital decisions that he will be making to make it through to his goal. Though he has a goal, he does not take into consideration the scope of the goal and what it means to get there. He treats the dog with the same lack of respect as he does his own sensibility. He pretends that both are not there for the most part. While he does do several things to prove that he can make it, he puts forth as little effort as possible to accomplish this. Though he appears to struggle to survive throughout the story, his reckless abandonment makes one wonder if he had wished to die all along...


Scott said...

20 points. Yes, the Univ of Wash student and the Man in "Fire" both have testosterone poisoning!