1.15.2009

Building Fires

So today in language arts class we watched this movie. My teacher said the guy doesn't talk at all so I was all, "this is going to be really boring..." of course thinking to myself as to not make my teacher more angry at me than she already was or is (hard to say considering she's being nice to me so far... maybe its the fact that everyone has a 100 average right now). So basically we watched this movie with this dude and his dog searching for gold in Alaska. Its called To Build A Fire and its an old, low budget film with bad acting based on the Jack London short story of the same title.

In the story, not the movie, it starts out with this old dude telling our main character (who doesn't have a name) that he shouldn't build a fire under a tree. That doesn't sound like something you would keep at the forefront of your mind, because if you are in Alaska in the winter you have more important things to think about, like not dying in the -75 F degree weather. Anyway, our main dude thought this old guy was an idiot and didn't think twice about what he said.

This guy that is in Alaska has this really smart dog named Pepper. His animal instinct is legit. If it wasn't for this dog, the guy would have died in the first 5 minutes. Then there would have been no point for Jack London to write about him anymore because he would be dead. His dog was like making sure they didn't fall through the ice and stuff like that, because dogs know where the ice is thin and stuff like that.

The first fire this guy built was not under a tree (good job) so he rested and ate some biscuits and then he tried to leave, but his dog didn't want to go. The dog was all "You idiot! There's a fire right there and you're going to risk your life by going away from it?" Ok the dog didn't actually talk but if he could, he would have said that. He also would have leg-dropped the guy, stolen his skittles, and a youth group van would fall out of the sky and he would drive it as far away from the stupid guy as possible.

So he finally got his dog to go and they went on their way. The guy (who is already established as dumb) decided to walk ahead of the dog on the ice. He broke the ice and his foot fell in. The guy was like "oh crap my foot's gonna freeze, I better build a fire." So he went, sat under a tree, forgetting completely about the old dude's advice and started building a fire right there.

So he gets the fire going, attempts to cut off his shoe, and guess what, snow falls out of the tree, on to the fire and puts it out. This guy just lost the game. Epic fail. Game over. He's gonna get hypothermia and die.

Now for the reason I am telling you all of this. Say the old guy at the beginning represents God, the dog (trying to help the dude make right decisions) represents the Holy Spirit and the dumb guy is you (no offense).

Think about that for a second. This story could be applied to anything really. Like at the beginning, God tells you these rules, or tells you not to build a fire under a tree, and if you follow them you won't get yourself in as much crap as you would if you didn't. The Holy Spirit goes with you everywhere and is kind of like a super upgraded version of your conscience and tells you to follow what God says to do (not to step on certain parts of the ice) and you'll be ok. But the guy doesn't listen. You don't listen. I don't listen. We never listen. Because we think we know better or just because we want to do it ourselves. You can't do it yourself. So this guy tries to go on without the dog and he gets himself stuck in a bad situation. Then his foot freezes and he dies.

Hopefully any situation that you or I get ourselves into won't end in hypothermia and dying, but do you see what happens?

4 comments:

William said...

I love Jack London- I think he was a great writer. I've never thought about applying this to Christianity, but I guess it fits. Good work (except that you just ruined a great story for people who haven't read it).

KC said...

well
intellectuals like us should assume that everyone who reads this blog has read it
because they should be well read
but you know what happens when we assume...

Anonymous said...

Yeah.... that's not what the story is meant to represent at all. Sorry. I mean... I guess you may interpret it whatever way you like (and certainly art exists for this purpose), but I'm pretty sure that's not what Jack London had in mind when he was writing this. I think you could have said it better. "I think that this story could act as a metaphor for the proverbial Christian journey." Or something to that extent. But you said it such a way that you were making it seem like you thought that this was the one and only meaning for this story and it's what London was writing about.

KC said...

to anon:
I was making an analogy. I know that the story isn't about what I posted, but while I was pondering things to write about, this stuff popped into my head. I'm pretty sure Jack London was not writing to mean this.