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Antigone and to Build a Fire

In: English and Literature

Submitted By feely18
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In Antigone written by Sophocles Antigone faces a tough decision, leave her dead brother’s burial spot alone or give him a proper burial and get put to death. In To Build a Fire by Jack London the character who remains nameless also faces death however his death is not a choice. The character in To Build a Fire suffers a death that is worse than the character in Antigone. Antigone had known her consequences and knew her fate but the character in To Build a Fire did not. He tried his best to survive flashing back to tips given to him by a wise man, on the other hand Antigone would not listen to anyone, she was going to do what she thought was right. “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more that our abilities” J.K. Rowling. Antigone had been warned by Creon “No one shall bury him, no one mourn for him…and the penalty- Stoning to death in the public square (pg. 461 lines 20-24). Antigone had tried to get her sister Ismene to help bury their brother but she did not want to disobey her leader Creon, although Antigone was set to marry Creon’s son they had both known the punishment. In To build a Fire the character also had a companion, his dog. He had brought his dog to let him go first in case of any traps he could get caught up on. In both of these they had each had a companion, the dog was more than willing to do anything for his master Ismene was not willing to be put to death for her sister however. Antigone’s death was her fault because she was warned and she did not care, she was going to give her brother a proper funeral one that he deserved. She felt it unfair that Eteocles got a proper funeral and Polynieces did not when they had both died in battle. She had understood the consequences and she had disobeyed anyway. The character in the short story had experience in doing traveling in the cold and knew what to do. He did not know that he was going to die it just happened unexpectedly. An old timer had given him some advice last fall and it was running through his head “He knew there must be no failure. When it is seventy-five below zero, a man must not fail his first attempt to build a fire- that is, if his feet are wet” (pg. 588). Antigone disobeyed her leader and Creon had no choice but to punish her, he did not want to be considered as a weak, unfair ruler. After Antigone had gotten caught she did not deny anything and she was ready for her punishment. She had told her ruler “This death of mine is of no importance; but if I had left my brother lying in death unburied, I should have suffered. Now I do not” (pg. 469). Antigone had accepted her consequences and stood up for her actions. She did not feel bad about her decision and she was more than willing to die, she had given her brother a proper burial and that was her goal. Antigone did not feel any remorse for what she had done because she believed it was what needed to be done and that it was the right thing. Antigone cared less about the consequences. In To Build a Fire the character was in survival mode, trying not to get his feet wet and trying to stay warm, however “At a place where there were no signs, where the soft, unbroken snow seemed to advertise solidity beneath, the man broke through. It was not deep. He wet himself halfway to the knees before he floundered out to firm crust” (pg. 587). The man had to get warm and dry out because the temperatures were so low he would freeze. The man was nervous now because he had learned that this could be dangerous. The man had built a fire to get warm however he had built the fire underneath a spruce tree. “High up in the tree one bough capsized its load of snow. This fell on the boughs beneath, capsizing them both” (pg. 589).
The man was slowly freezing to death and he had begun to realize it. He had died by suffering whereas Antigone had died quick and she had knew it was coming. Antigone and the character had both faced death each death was different in many ways. Antigone had realized her fate and knew it was coming and the character did not know he was going to face death until the end. His death was much more painful and lengthy, it took him longer to die than it took Antigone. The character in To Build a Fire had suffered a worse death than Antigone.…...

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