Henry David Thoreau, “The Battle of the Ants”

Henry David Thoreau describes his observations of an ant hill. The author observes ants and describes their actions and movements in details. He apparently wants to understand how the ants’ community actually functions since such tiny beings have managed to create the ant hill and manage it. At the same time, it is obvious that Thoreau extrapolates his observations of the ants on the life of human beings. As the matter of fact, his Battle of the Ants can be viewed as an allegory, in which he presents his views on the modern society and life of human beings. He underlines that the life of the ants is defined by the existing order which is not violated by any means. Consequently, implicitly he indicates to the possibility of the existence the particular social order established in human society. In such a context, the battle of the ants can be a reference to the Darwinist views which could have influenced Thoreau. Finally, the author attempts to understand where the social order ends and personal freedom starts.

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