Reading 20-23 To Build a Fire

Quiz for To Build a Fire in the 20-23 ACT skills band. Well, it was half created before we dealt with skills bands, so it might be a bit of the older style mixed in.

 Quizstar import code (it should be mostly the same quiz) QI_EHBDH


To Build a Fire Reading Quiz

20-23 Skills Bands


Answer Key:

1B 2D 3C 4D 5C 6B 7A 8D 9D 10C 11A 12D 13B 14B 15C 16C 17A 18D 19D 20A


1. Why is the man so far north and in such frigid weather?   

A. He locked his keys in the zamboni

B. He is a newcomer in search of riches

C. He is just out for a stroll, lost in his thoughts

D. He needed to warn the others about the cold snap


2. According to the text, all of the following make almost no impression on the man EXCEPT?

A. The length of the trail

B. The absence of the sun

C. The cold

D. Falling through the ice


3. The trail the man is on measures over a thousand miles. What does this imply?

A. A lot of people will be on the trail, and someone should be along shortly

B. The government uses a lot of salt to keep the trail clear

C. The region is vast

D. The main character has no idea how to measure mileage


4. What does the author use the traveler’s spit to establish?

A. That this is no story for proper ladies. Shame on you, nameless traveler!

B. If you spit chewing tobacco out, it’s much better for you than the alternative

C. The direction of the wind

D. It must be colder than 50 degrees below zero


5. The man has an amber beard in the story not seen in the film version. Why?

A. The actor in the film has more of a burnt sienna tint than an amber tint

B. The man has his chin pierced with an amber trinket

C. The man is not chewing tobacco in the film; in the story, the tobacco freezes there

D. The snow itself has an amber tint in the story


6. Why does the man need to be careful of water even if all of the creeks are frozen solid?

A. He could drink some contaminated water

B. Natural springs exist that never freeze

C.The whole “frozen solid” thing is a little iffy

D. He could die of thirst if all the water is frozen

7. What does the author say the dog possess that the man seems to lack?

A. Instinct

B. Mittens

C. A clear understanding of cold and thermometers

D. Happiness


8. What else does the man lack, based on the following statement? “50 degrees below was 50 degrees below – cold and uncomfortable; that was all.”   

A. Logic

B. Reason

C. Matches

D. Imagination


9. All are reasons for the man leaving the first fire EXCEPT:

A. He wants to meet the boys at six o’clock

B. He wants to prove he can travel alone

C. He wants to show that the old timer was wrong

D. He has to meet a young lady at the old claim


10. According to the text, which emotion causes the dog to follow when it knows better?

A. Love

B. Compassion

C. Fear

D. Hunger


11. How do we know the feelings and thoughts of the dog?

A. The omniscient narrator shows and tells the reader

B. The story is told entirely from the perspective of the dog

C. The man knows what the dog thinks

D. The narrator describes what the man sees and how the man feels about the dog


12. According to the traveler, how much time will he lose from falling into the water?

A. None, since he’ll have to walk faster to keep ice from forming

B. An entire day so that he can stop for the night and warm up

C. About fifteen minutes to bite the ice off of his feet

D. An hour to make a fire and dry out his gear

13. Why does the man need to remove his mittens

A. He tries breathing on his hands to warm them up more

B. He needs the use of his hands to light the match

C. He needs to dial 911 on his cell phone to get help

D. He does not think the mittens are rugged and manly enough for his style


14. Why is the following statement ironic? “Any man who is a man can travel alone.”

A. No man is an island unto himself

B. He makes the statement just before his fire is put out – a situation that dooms him because he is alone

C. He makes the statement just after his fire is put out, in order to show that he is tough enough to survive even that

D. The narrator tells the story of a woman who made the same trip alone in -80 degree weather


15. According to evidence in the story, why is it a bad idea to build a fire under a spruce or pine tree after a snow?

A. The trees’ boughs might bend down and suffocate the fire

B. The tree could start on fire and spread to other trees, trapping the traveler

C. The snow might fall from the boughs and suffocate the fire

D. The needles do not burn readily


16. The story implies what about the ancestry of the man and the dog?

A. The man’s ancestry knew cold as well as the dog’s

B. The man’s ancestry knew cold much better than the dog’s

C. The man’s ancestry did not know cold, but the dog’s did

D. Neither the man’s ancestry nor the dog’s ancestry knew cold at all


17. What does the man want to feel in his toes and hands as he’s trying to build a fire to save his life?

A. Pain

B. Numbness

C. A slight tickling sensation

D. Remorse

18. What is the man’s last-ditch plan for the dog?

A. To have the dog drag him to safety

B. To have the dog run on ahead and get the boys

C. To have the dog build the fire

D. To kill the dog and warm his hands in its carcass


19. Choose the answer that best represents the sequence of events in the last paragraph of the story.

A. The man falls asleep; The dog leaves; The dog catches the scent of death; The dog whines softly

B. The dog leaves; The man falls asleep; The dog whines softly; The dog catches the scent of death

C. The man falls asleep ; The dog catches the scent of death; The dog leaves; The dog whines softly

D. The man falls asleep; The dog whines softly ; The dog catches the scent of death; The dog leaves


20. The man sees what in his hallucination near the end of the story?

A. Himself and the boys looking at himself

B. A tunnel with a light at the end of it

C. The old-timer of Sulphur Creek

D. Nothingness