Leiningen vs. the Ants Essay

903 WordsJun 26, 20084 Pages
A hero is “one that shows great courage” according to Webster’s Dictionary. In Leiningen versus the Ants by Carl Stephenson, the protagonist Leiningen can be considered a hero. Not only does he risk his life to save his peon workers and farm, but he is respected by all in every way, shape, and form. Although he has many advantageous characteristics, he also has some that are quite dubious, making a slight dent in his bold delineation. In total, Leiningen has both positive and problematic attributes, but overall he can still be viewed as a heroic figure. Many positive features contribute to Leiningen’s character. Being extremely confident by nature, Leiningen uses this trait to help him in all possible ways. In addition to being…show more content…
“Moreover, during his three years as a planter, Leiningen had met and defeated drought, Hood, plague and all other ‘acts of God’ which had come against him - unlike his fellow settlers who had little or no resistance. This unbroken success he attributed solely to the observance of his lifelong motto: The human brain needs only to become fully aware of its powers to conquer even the elements…intelligence, directed aright, invariably makes man the master of his fate.” (Page 552) Because of his reckless and overly-confident nature, he put the lives of many on the line of death. But on top of this, Leiningen is also very lazy at times, too. “…the farmer [Leiningen] ate his supper with considerable appetite and went to bed. His slumbers were in no wise disturbed by the memory of the waiting, live, twenty square miles.” (Page 559) Basically, while his peon-workers slaved away preparing for attack throughout the whole night, Leiningen slept soundly and placidly without a care of the coming monsters. Trapped in his own little world of arrogance and oblivion, Leiningen mistakenly underestimated the power and grave deadliness of the impending ants which ultimately had the potential to destroy him, his workers and even his farm in a matter of hours. Lastly, even though Leiningen’s temperament can be viewed as both positive and problematic, he is still a hero at heart. For him, everything must be done right the first time.

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