In “To Build A Fire” Jack London tells about a young man who goes through various obstacles in a Northern America country, Canada.He creates an emotional rollercoaster with his uses of structural techniques, such as pacing and foreshadowing, that captivates the readers to keep turning pages.London uses slow pacing regularly throughout the short narrative to show how slow or fast a story can unfold.
On page 16 Jack London manipulated his pace not only frequently but orderly. ” He did not belong to himself anymore. Even then he was outside of himself, standing with the boys and looking at himself in the snow. It certainly was cold, was his thought. When he returned to the United States he could tell the folks what real cold was” London created pacing to display to the readers that the main character, whose name was not mentioned, now knew the true meaning of being cold, so much that he couldn’t feel himself, he was absolutely numb, as being a reader the inference can be made that he was now agreeing with the things that he was told before his expedition because he knew death was upon him. London also uses pacing when it took an extended amount of time for the dog to realizes that the man was no longer of active existence. As stated in the short story, ” Never in the dog’s experience had it known a man to sit like that in the snow and make no fire. As the evening grew darker, it’s eager longing for the fire mastered it.
With much lifting of its feet, it cried softly. Then it flattened its ears, expecting the man’s curse. But the man remained silent. Later, the dog howled loudly. And still, later it moved closer to the man and caught the smell of death. This made the animal back away.” The way that London created this specific pace by making the dog’s reaction towards the man’s death slow as if the dog didn’t want to believe that his owner was deceased.
Jack London also incorporates his fair share of foreshadowing through the story foreshadowing contributes to the reader’s sense that the result, the man’s freezing to death, is unavoidable. The man’s inexperience appeared through lines such as “Fifty degrees underneath zero was to him fair accurately fifty degrees underneath zero,” imply to the reader that the man’s need of concern will be problematic for him. The old-timer’s advice, which the man states a few times, moreover foreshadows the man’s stumbles. In spite of the old-timer’s notices, for instance, the man takes off running with damp feet.
This was the final in an arrangement of destitute choices that leads to his death.Throughout the story, London uses structural techniques to manipulate the time to prolong what readers had already predict, and that would be the death of the main character. London used these techniques to add more suspense when read by readers creating a feel of of fascination and excitement mixed with apprehension, tension, and anxiety.