Leiningen Essay

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Throughout the ages, man has constantly been forced to battle with nature. “Leiningen versus the Ants” by Carl Stephenson is about a landowner, Leiningen, in Brazil who is warned by a Brazilian official that an army, ten miles long and two miles wide, of ants is headed straight for his plantation and are expected to reach his plantation in two days at the latest. But Leiningen believes that the Brazilian official is “pulling his leg” when he advises him to evacuate the plantation because of ants. Against all odds, Leiningen is able to defeat a twenty square mile army of ants by possessing leadership, confidence, and intelligence.

One of the key reasons that Leiningen is able to defeat the army of ants is his great leadership skill because with a great leader who everyone trusts in, the group or army will be united as one and work as one. After Leiningen has been informed of the ants that are approaching his plantation, Leiningen prepares for the battle by moving the women and children and cattle to safety. “The women and children, then the herds of cattle, were escorted by peons on rafts over the river, to remain on the other side in absolute safety…”(2). Leiningen is keeping the people and animals that cannot fight safe, which demonstrates his leadership and control over the plantation and everything living there while also illustrating his care for the women, children, and cattle. After the battle has begun, Leiningen is forced to make quick decisions, including the decision to drop a match into the petrol-filled ditch. “’Everyone back from the ditch!’ roared Leiningen. The men rushed away, without the slightest idea of his plan”(9). Leiningen’s men show great obedience to Leiningen when they rush away from the ditch without details of his plan demonstrating that Leiningen is a reliable leader who they can trust. Finally, Leiningen displays that he is a respected leader who will put his own life at risk to save those of his men. “’Listen, lads!’ he shouted....
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