To Build a Fire Quotes | Jack London

To Build a Fire Quotes. Jack London's To Build a Fire is a chilling tale of survival against the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. The story follows an unnamed man and his dog as they attempt to navigate the treacherous Yukon River during a brutal blizzard. 

The language is stark and unforgiving, reflecting the harshness of the environment, and the quotes are powerful and thought-provoking.

To Build a Fire Quotes
To Build a Fire Quotes

To Build a Fire Quotes

  • “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well.”
  • “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.”
  • “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
  • “He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in their significances.”
  • “Man always gets less than he demands from life.”
  • “I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” - Jack London”
  • “Any man who was a man could travel alone.”
  • “The trouble with him was that he was without imagination.”
  • “That the work of a drinker who had no intention of stopping drinking should become a major propaganda piece in the campaign for Prohibition is surely one of the ironies in the history of alcohol.”
  • “That man from Sulphur Creek had spoken the truth when telling how cold it sometimes got in the country. And he had laughed at him at the time! That showed one must not be too sure of things.”
  • “Strong as were the elements, he was stronger.”
  • “He knew that such thoughts caused a feeling of fright in him and he was afraid of such feelings.”

You may also like to read: To Build a Fire Story Summary

Top Quotes from To Build a Fire Book

  • “It did not lead him to meditate upon ... man’s frailty ... able only to live within certain narrow limits of heat and cold. ”
  • “It experienced a vague but menacing apprehension that subdued it and made it slink along at the man’s heels. ”
  • “He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. ”
  • “A certain fear of death, dull and oppressive, came to him. ”
  • “Empty as the man’s mind was of thoughts, he was keenly observant, and he noticed the changes in the creek, the curves and bends and timber jams, and always he sharply noted where he placed his feet.”
  • “The old-timer had been very serious in laying down the law that no man must travel alone in the Klondike after fifty below.”
  • “The only caresses it had ever received were the caresses of the whip-lash and of harsh and menacing throat-sounds that threatened the whip-lash. ”
  • “In a month no man had come up or down that silent creek.”
  • “Working carefully from a small beginning, he soon had a roaring fire, over which he thawed the ice from his face and in the protection of which he ate his biscuits. For the moment the cold of space was outwitted.”
  • “And all the while the dog sat and watched him, a certain yearning wistfulness in its eyes, for it looked upon him as the fire provider, and the fire was slow in coming. ”
  • “He was a newcomer to the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter. The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. ”

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