Many people tend to overlook the style in writing, not focusing on its impact on meaning. All authors have developed their own type of style which is deeply shown through their personal writing. Jack London was an author who uses a specific style of writing in his stories. Through London’s stories “Love of Life” and “To Build a Fire”, he uses vivid style, multiple literary movements of his time, and numerous themes. London’s writings were deeply inspired by his personal experiences and the life he lived. According to http:// london. sonoma. edu/jackbio. tml, London became a writer as a ay to escape his horrible experiences as a factory worker.
By studying other writers, London was inspired to begin submitting stories of his own, including all sorts of poems and jokes to many diverse publications, but never had much success off of them. London’s writing career took an uplift after he spent a winter in the Yukon and began writing stories based off of his experiences during the gold rush. If London had never went through his struggle in the Yukon, he wouldn’t have had these stories to spark his career.
London’s two works “Love of Life” and “To Build a Fire” can be imply summarized. In “Love of Life”, an Alaskan gold miner must make a long journey across the vast Yukon, fighting for survival. After spraining an ankle, he is left behind to face the unforgivingness of nature. He must fend for himself, living off of berries and tiny animal life, crawling across the deserted tundra alone. The man becomes so weak that he is no longer able to haul all of his gear; he must leave it all behind, continuing on as a sick wolf starts trailing behind him.
The man becomes so starved that he decides to kill the sick wolf by biting its neck, hen continues his journey before coming across a ship and is rescued by scientists. In “To Build a Fire”, an unexperienced man foolishly attempts to make a journey through the Yukon, traveling with a husky on an extremely cold day. As a newcomer to the Yukon, he isn’t fazed by the tremendous cold or the consequences of it. Along his journey, he ignores crucial advice that was given to him, and makes multiple careless mistakes by breaking through the ice; consequently, gets his feet wet.
He continues on his freezing journey, but doesn’t listen to the dvice he received; therefore, he traveled alone and repeatedly failed to make a fire, which was crucial to his survival. After trying to kill the dog to warm his hands in the carcass, the man eventually freezes to death and realized that the man who gave him advice was right, the husky survives, then continues on by heading over to a nearby camp. Throughout London’s stories “Love of Life” and “To Build a Fire” he uses a vivid style to produce powerful feelings or strong, clear images in the mind of his readers.
Wisely selecting his word choice, London is constantly incorporating the word “gray” o his stories. In “Love of Life”, he creates a vivid image by writing “.. nothing but a gray sea moss scarcely diversified by gray rocks, gray lakelets, and gray streamlets”; furthermore, in “To Build a fire” he writes, “Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray… “, which gives a clear image to the readers that there is a gloomy tone. London makes many of his sentences short and abrupt, for example in “Love of Life” he writes, “He did not stop. ” and in “To Build a Fire” he says “They were Traps. ; therefore, he makes his sentences powerful and straight forward. London also includes long descriptive sentences to give the reader a clear visual image.
For example, in “Love of Life” he writes, “The man watched him go, limping grotesquely and Ilurching with stammering gait up the slow slope toward the soft skyline of the low-lying hill. ” and in “To Build a Fire” he exclaims, “Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little-traveled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timber-land.
To give the reader a better explanation, London ncludes numbers and time into the stories. For example, in “Love of Life” he wrote, “It was four o’clock and as the season was near the last of just or the first of August.. ” and in “To Build a Fire” he writes “… that led south five hundred miles… that led north seventy miles… to the north a thousand miles… a thousand miles and half a thousand more. “. London’s style gives his readers a greater understanding of the text and leaves them with a powerful impact.
London uses multiple movements in literature throup stories, including naturalism, realism, determinism, and regionalism. His stories “Love of Life” and “To Build a Fire” have a large naturalistic style throughout the entire story where there is an interaction between man and the environment. In both stories, the man’s behavior is constantly being shaped by the environment, for example, in “Love of Life” there isn’t much food in the nature around the man, causing him to become put his starved which makes him delusional and in “To Build a Fire” it was extremely cold which made the man want to build a fire.
Realism is shown throughout both stories, in “Love of Life” the most realistic point was that it was based off of the gold rush; urthermore, in both stories the men both think, behave, then react as an ordinary person would. Multiple elements of determinism are shown, in “Love of Life” it was predetermined that Bill would die since he was being greedy, only caring about the gold instead of survival.
The man in “To Build a Fire” was predetermined to die because he didn’t have any experience about being in the Yukon alone, traveling on an extremely cold day with temperatures that no one should be exposed to. Both stories are both based in the Yukon and represent real places which is a main regionalism aspect, but the nature of each story lso builds onto the regionalism features. For Example, the land of the little sticks, ptarmigans, wolf, fox, and muskeg berries that are shown in “Love of Life” are all part of the Arctic region.
London’s use of naturalism, realism, determinism, and regionalism all add character to the story by making it more realistic. To attach lessons to his stories, London incorporates numerous themes into “Love of Life” and “To Build a fire”. The main theme that London presents in his stories is that nature is indifferent to man at all times; therefore, nature is relentless and unchangeable. This was shown multiple times in both stories, for example, in “Love of Life”, the man was trying to capture a ptarmigan to eat, but was never fast enough to get it.
Then a fox showed up and captured it easily; therefore, nature in its own habitat is relentless. In “To Build a Fire”, the weather continues to be extremely cold and doesn’t change for the man’s good because nature isn’t in favor of the man. A theme specific to “Love of Life” is that in order to survive, one must work hard for it. For example, Bill was being greedy by hoarding his gold which led to his death, but the other man was fighting or survival and doing everything he could to stay alive by leaving all of his gear including the gold behind.
A theme specific to “To Build a Fire” is that all advice should be taken seriously because it could save a life. For example, the man was given advice from the old timer, but he didn’t listen to the advice given to him; therefore, dies for not following the old timers guidance. To leave a lasting impact on his readers, London gave meaning to his story by including themes. London has utilized his vivid style in the literary movements of his time to help create themes in his short stories “Love of Life” nd “To Build a Fire”.
London wrote his stories based off of some of his personal experiences, making his stories more realistic. To make his stories more realistic, he uses a vivid style to provide clear images and powerful emotions to the readers. London uses his vivid style while writing about the literary movements of his time to make them more elucidated. By incorporating lessons to his stories, he has left a long-lasting meaning for his readers. For these numerous reasons, London’s style of writing has impacted many people and has inspired many other writers.