What did each of the six characters fail to do in James Patrick Kinney’s poem ‘The Cold Within’?
By not sharing their logs when the dying fire needed it to keep them alive in the bitter cold, each of the six persons in ‘The Cold Within’ failed to appreciate one another due to narrow discriminatory attitude based on caste, class, race, religion and so on. They failed to realize the truth that men cannot live alone. They failed to enlighten their hearts even when death was nearing them. That eventually meant they failed in their purpose of life.
The six persons failed to save humanity and mankind in the name of caste,colour,religion,status,class etc.. which brought death near to them. They were not able to save their own and others life due to their discriminatory attitude. The all six were self-centred and selfish.
In James Patrick Kinney’s “The Cold Within”, six people are stuck, by coincidence, in bleak and bitter cold. Although there is a fire warming them, the fire is dying. Each one of them possesses a log of wood but is unwilling to feed it to the fire because orthodox mindsets, selfishness and egoistic attitudes have blinded them to the extent where they fail to see humanity and life. Each person holds back their log of wood because in that log of wood, they see a way of establishing themselves as superior. Hence, the six people not only fail in saving themselves from the cold around but also in saving humanity from the cold within their hearts.
The six humans trapped by happenstance did not want to be there at the moment. It is best described as a ‘forlorn group’ since they hated one another. They let prejudice, discrimination, malice and hatred decide their actions. They failed to understand what an important decision there was in just not keeping their log of stick in the fire which would do good to all. They failed to get the fact that class, race, complexion and religion are choices that one cannot always decide and thus, we come to mere conclusion that they failed to put the logs in the fire due to all these reasons.