Literary movements

The pieces of literature by different authors in a particular period of time are what we refer to as
literary movements. This aspect of literature helps us to understand the mind of the author via
knowing the reasons why he or she wrote the piece of work at that particular moment (Jack,
1904). These pieces carry moral lessons which are a reflection of how issues in the society are
supposed to be handled. The use of this tool in the world of literature has enhanced many people
to comprehend that people have different characters thus everyone has his or her own way of
handling matters that are encountered on daily basis (Nella, 1902). Apart from understanding
literary pieces the keenness that is involved in analyzing these works ensures that the readers are
not just entertained by the stories and poems but they are also instilled with good behavior that
assists them to being better people in the society.
“To Build a Fire”, (Jack, 1904) is a short story that exhibits the true nature of most human beings
that pretend to be all knowing. Nature dictates that as much as you want people to listen to us we
must also learn to listen to them. There is no monotony in handling of life’s issues we need to be
guided as well as guide others. The main character in this story is given guidelines before setting
forth for his journey but unfortunately he proves to be adamant to instructions and he takes
whatever he is told as mere fabricated stories that are meant to catalyze fear in people who lack
courage. The cold in the land is too much but this man still pretends to be too strong for it but in
real sense he is suffering (Jack, 1904).
The inner nature of this man proves to us that he takes all the instructions and guidance as myths.
Therefore he does not believe anything that he is given as advice by a person that has been
through this land before. Naturalism showcases itself at this juncture where we have a person
who is giving direction but the recipient to the direction believes that these are things that are
nonexistent and even if they exist their operation is limited to the spiritual realm (Nella, 1902).
Arrogance and ignorance are the most dangerous vices that a human being can carry. As much as
the man is courageous enough for anything that he may encounter whilst in the journey he faces
the risk of death because he is not taking any precaution to the cold that keeps on rising as he
goes on with the journey.
The ironical part of this is that he is trying to prove that he is a real man and yet there is no
audience to affirm this thus whatever point he is conveying is for his own harm. The only
companion in this journey is a dog that seems to agree that the man does not consider his safety
and well being. The dog’s eyes convey a message that the man is ignorant and this makes it to be
concerned about its own heat and not that of the man. The man has different thoughts about the
dog, he thinks that the dog is sorrowful about his state but the truth of the matter is that the two
characters are after their selfish interests. The character portrayed by the dog and the man is a
true reflection of naturalism.
The more the man continues with the journey his feet and hands continue to grow numb. His
ignorance has risen to the state where even the type of clothes that he is putting on is not fit for
the heavy weather in this land. He lacks Moccasins, a maven that should protect his head from
the cold and even gloves that are very essential because they prevent the hands from freezing.
The natural nature of the man wants to disapprove the person that discouraged him from
travelling during this season but unfortunately he is has proven whatever he was told right. The
giver of the advice foresaw what was ahead and he warned him against (Jack, 1904). This brings
in another form of literary movements which is known as foreshadowing. This aspect can be
ascribed to wisdom because it prophecies whatever that is to take place in the near future. There
is need for wise counsel in every society for it gives direction to people who have missed their
way in handling the problems that they encounter in their lives. When the recipient lacks to be
receptive to the word of wisdom then they automatically become candidates of death or multiple
problems. In this story the dog seems to understand all these, it also knows that in such cold
periods a hole is the best place to hide while we await the sun to rise once again. The author
presents the dog as a character that understands the natural laws of nature better than human
beings. At some point the dog sees the man as a brainless person because of how he conducts
himself during the journey.
Language barrier between these two characters has brought about a distinct feature that cannot
work for the benefit of either of the two. If there had been a chance that would give way for a
one on one communication then the dog would have assisted the man to think. The man sees the
dog as a weaker being thus he feels as if he is the one giving life to the dog by lighting up the
fire. The dog pretends to be stupid and this gives it a chance to enjoy the warmth of the actual
fool who thinks he is wise.
Life has its own eventualities and there are times we overcomes the troubles we encounter and
there are moments that it becomes impossible for us to stand strongly in the face of such
situations. This implies that we need to own up to our mistakes if there is that need because that
is the only way we shall emerge victorious over these challenges. Lighting up the fire by the man
indicates that he has owned up to his mistakes and he has agreed with the counsel that he was
given before setting of for the journey. If he has stayed humble from the beginning he would not
have undergone such torture which may have devious effects on his health and future days.
There is need for humility in a society; this shall ensure that we do not fall prey to petty traps in
this life. As much we think that we know, we should still listen to elders when they issue out
direction because it is all four our benefit and not theirs. Elders simply stand between us and
similar challenges they faced in the past so as to protect us from facing such problems.
Harmony can only be realized when there is a consensus amongst people who happen to live in
the same environment and this includes animals. If there had been a close relationship between
the man and the dog then communication would not have been a challenge. It would have been
easier for the dog to give the man a sign to imply that he needed to shield himself from the cold.
This means that every person in a society is essential because their contribution adds up for the
betterment of the community.
All the struggles that this man experiences whilst on his journey are a moral lesson to the readers
of the story. The author aimed at conveying the message clearly, the hardship showcased
represents the consequences that an individual is bound to face if he or she chooses to be
disobedient. Thus it is momentous to encourage true humility amongst many in a community this
fosters development and peace. Naturalism creates a basis for a balanced relationship in any
community. Not everyone can be perfect thus this makes it possible for every class in the society
to be represented. Love is also another factor that should be embraced so as to ensure that there
is oneness in the society. Even though there was no communication between the man and the dog
a small aspect of love kept them together through the hardship in the cold. Therefore, this implies
that love a uniting factor in the face of any difficulty.
Literary movements provide a backbone to the world of literature and this has facilitated the
various periods that literature has gone through over the years (Nella, 1904). The presence of
these movements gives weight to literary works that have been written and are still being written.
This created a foundation that has given authors an avenue of success in their profession. This
research has also helped us to understand that there are different classes in the society which
compliment the community. “To build a fire”, has brought a clear picture of what relationship
between human beings entail and this also includes animals that are considered to be pets in the
life of human beings.
Larsen, Nella. Literary Movements. New York: New York Pirnters, 1904. Book.
London, Jack. To Build a Fire. 1902. Document.

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