What happens to the dog at the end of the story in to build a fire? Surprising Answer

What happens to the dog when the man forces him on what does it instinctively know to do?

What does it instinctively know to do? The dog fell through the ice when the man pushed it forward. It instinctively licks and bites the ice off of its paw.

Cite this page as follows:

“Does the dog die in “To Build a Fire”?” eNotes Editorial, 24 Sep. 2020, https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/does-the-dog-die-in-to-build-a-fire-2441765. Accessed 8 Jan. 2023.

In Jack Londons short story “To Build a Fire,” a husky—or “proper wolf-dog”—obediently accompanies his owner on a treacherous journey through the Yukon in weather that is seventy-five degrees below zero. Unlike the man, who lacks imagination and does not recognize the dangerous conditions, the dog is attuned to the natural environment and understands the dangers associated with traveling in such extreme conditions. The dog contrasts his arrogant owner and symbolically represents the natural instinct for survival. The dog is worried about the harsh conditions and can sense the impending danger. It is primarily concerned with finding shelter and hopes that the man will build a fire.

As the man continues to journey on the desolate path, the dog reluctantly follows behind and ends up stepping through the ice. Fortunately, the man is able to start his first fire and removes the ice from the dogs paws. Later on, the newcomer falls through the ice and is soaked to his knees. After the man builds another fire underneath a tree, snow falls onto the fire and extinguishes it. The man fails to build another fire to save his life.

While the man panics, the dog senses danger and purposely avoids its owner, who intends to kill the dog to keep himself warm. The man quickly exhausts himself by running through the forest and eventually succumbs to hypothermia. After the man dies, the dog becomes puzzled by his inactivity and can smell death. The dog howls and runs down the trail towards the camp, where it seeks fire and food provided by other humans.

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What happens to the dog at the end of the story in to build a fire?

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To Build a Fire by Jack London | In-Depth Summary & Analysis