I’m so glad Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books came up. I always viewed them as great world building examples. Thanks to this podcast, now I can see how they also highlight man vs nature style storytelling. She died late last year (11/21/2011) and I wonder if that was an influence in her name coming up in this podcast. How far ahead are you guys in your recording vs airing?
Regionalism is used in order to underline the specific place where the story is set. In London’s story the setting has an important meaning. To Build a Fire, which is set on Arctic gives the depiction of this region. The region is described with great detail and the readers see the place through the eyes of the protagonist. The author spends much time in order to describe specific details of the nature. The main character fights the environment. He does a number of mistakes and finally steps on the thin ice and this becomes the reason of his death. In this case environment is described as hostile and the protagonist, who takes risks and goes alone along the frozen creek can not see different signs and finally dies. A skillful comparison of the man with the dog gives another shades of meaning to this story. The protagonist of the story is accompanied by the dog. The dog has more important function than following the protagonist. The author explores the influence of the surrounding on both – a human and an animal. “The animal was depressed by the tremendous cold.
Naturalism depicts extreme realism, when all natural phenomena and the way they affect human lives are depicted in great detail. The interaction between man the environment makes the core of naturalism. In London’s short story To Build a Fire we can see a very bright example of naturalism. During the entire story the protagonist has to deal with the environment, which finally becomes a result of his death. The nature becomes one of the characters of the story. The conflict between man and nature is the basic conflict of the story. The main character is trapped by the natural forces. He can not control them and they finally lead to his destruction.