In this short story, the protagonist is futilely trying to resist nature, represented by both the overwhelming cold and the instincts of his animal companion.
A conflict in a story can reveal a character's weaknesses, strengths, values and perspectives.
The conflict is a struggle between two characters, a character and himself, two forces, or a character and a force.
For example, a writer could argue that in "To Build a Fire," there is a conflict between the protagonist (a character) and nature (a force).
They should also examine what obstacles the characters face, how they deal with those obstacles and what their actions reveal about their values and beliefs.
The setting is the environment in which a story takes place and can include information about the geographical location, historical era, social and political conditions, weather, and time of day.
When analyzing a story, a student must examine the characters, setting, plot, conflicts and themes.
The analysis of these elements serves as the material for the essay about the story.
For example, if a story is told in the first person from the point of view of a particular character, access to the thoughts and motivations of other characters can be limited.
When analyzing the characters, students should ask whether the character is a protagonist, antagonist, hero or villain.