Analytical Essay – The Large Ant
In 2012, 16259 people in the United States were murdered and another 1.8 million people were sent to the hospital due to assault. Humans resorting to violence and harming others is a daily occurrence, but why? Is it in our nature, are we instinctively violent, and why is it that these acts are not only happening in the United States but worldwide. Although the average person does not leave their home planning on harming somebody that day, under the right circumstances almost every single person in this world will commit an act of violence. Sometimes these acts are justified, such as when we are trying to protect ourselves or a loved one, but what about the smaller acts that we all do every day. Whether it is killing the spider you see crawling on the wall, or the bee flying around simply trying to do its job. We do not see these as acts of violence but in there essence they are. Why is it that our first instinct is to kill them when they are not causing us any harm? Howard Fast builds on this idea within the theme of his short story The Large Ant, where the narrator kills a creature that resembles an ant, purely out of instinct.
“‘This is to no purpose,’ Fitzgerald put in. ‘We know why he killed it…The answer is very simple, Mr. Morgan. You killed it because you are a human being.’” (Fast 154) Fitzgerald is stating that the only reason the narrator killed the creature was simply because he is a human, which implies that there is something within humans that caused the narrator to react in the way he did. “‘I saw it,’ I answered slowly, ‘and somehow I knew that I must kill it. I didn’t think or decide. I just grabbed the iron and hit it.’” (Fast 155) Even the narrator himself does not know why he killed the creature, he just did. Subconsciously he decided that the thing to do is to kill it before he even had a chance to consciously think and decide. His decision was made for him by his basic human instincts and...
Cited: Fast, Howard. "The Large Ant." Trans. Array Imprints Vol. I. Toronto: Gage Learning Corporation, 2002. 150-159. Print.
United States of America. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Assault or Homicide. Atlanta: , 2013. Web. <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm>.
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