To Build a Fire.
To Build a Fire & other stories
There are 4 main types of conflict which drive a story. They can be defined like this:

man vs. man

one person against another person

man vs. society

a person against the society he lives in or finds himself in

man vs. nature

a person the forces of nature, such as his environment

man vs. himself

two elements within a person fighting for power

The 4 types of conflict are sometimes further classified as being either EXTERNAL or INTERNAL.

Which of the above conflicts would you say are EXTERNAL?

Which of the conflicts are INTERNAL?

Many stories may have several kinds of conflict.

What 2 types of conflict can you identify in To Build a Fire?

1) which the man struggles to survive against the deadly cold

2) which the Newcomer is constantly fighting his own foolishness for taking so many risks in such extreme cold and not following the advice of people with more experience

Which of these two conflicts is the most important to the plot?

The external conflict: Man vs. The Cold — a lexical hunt
The main conflict in To Build a Fire is man against the cold.

How many words or phrases can you find in the story that relate to the word cold or the feeling of being cold?

Check only pages 42-46. All the words and phrases occur by then.

Can you find 20 examples?

The internal conflict: Man vs. His Own Stupidity
Can you find some quotes from the story in which London actually states that his character is not very intelligent. Search pages 42-46 carefully.


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