“To Build a Fire” by Jack London
A man travels to a freezing, isolated place called Yukon. He only has his dog with him for a company. Throughout his journey, he ignores the advice other people had given him and takes his life for granted. Finally, he realizes the real power of nature and how delicate (easily broken) human life actually is.
What Is Great About It: The classic fight between life and death has always fascinated us. Nature is often seen as a powerful force which should be feared and respected. The man in this story is careless and, despite having helpful information, makes silly mistakes. He takes the power of natural forces too lightly.
The animal is the one who is cautious and sensible in this dangerous situation. By the end, readers wonder who is really intelligent—the man who could not deal with nature or the dog who could survive?