How Does Thoreau Use Allegory In The Battle Of The Ants

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The essay “The Battle of the Ants” by Henry David Thoreau can be analyzed in many different ways. Thoreau uses allegory in this essay to describe the similarities between war in the human and animal world. By using this literary device Thoreau is able to create a moral, spiritual, and political meaning. War is a natural thing that happen in the human and animal world. In Thoreau’s essay “The Battle of the Ants” Thoreau explores the similarities between the human and animal worlds. He discovers that both humans and animals fight wars over similar things. They will fight for there morals, spirituality, and political viewings. Even though they are different morals, spirituality, and political viewings, they are still the main reasons for why humans and animals fight wars. Humans and animals are both fighting wars that help them in their survival. Both are in a world that is either life or death.…show more content…
As he is studying them he sees that they aren’t fighting over anything. So why would they be fighting? Thoreau describes this not as a “duellem, but a bellum”. It seems that the ants are separated into two different groups. They look to be in a “political” war just like in human war. As Thoreau studies these ants he starts to notice individual ants. He first notices a tiny red ant that is attacking a much larger black ant even though the red ant is hurt. This shows perseverance just like in humans which gives emotion to the animal world. Thoreau goes on to say that it seems that the ants have a battle cry, “Conquer or Die”, which again is something similar to human war. With the ants individually attacking and taking on tasks much harder than they should it gives them what seems to be a set of “morals”. Fighting for themselves and the ones they see as
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