Allusion in To Build a Fire

Allusion Examples in To Build a Fire:

To Build a Fire 1

"he wondered if Mercury felt as he felt when skimming over the earth...."   (To Build a Fire)

London’s allusion to Mercury operates on several levels.Mercury’s winged feet allow the god to float over the earth much as the man, with his frozen feet, does. The reference to Mercury also calls to mind the planet of the same name, producing an image of Mercury and Earth in their separate orbits; this image underscores the man’s complete disconnect from his environment. Finally, in Roman mythology Mercury guides souls to the underworld. From this context, we can see the character’s desperate sprint as a dash towards death.