Go To The Ant Essay

576 words - 3 pages

Go to the Ant by Irving Layton Poetry Explication
Irving Layton, is a poet that wrote a piece called Go to the Ant. This entire poem was intentionally written in simplicity so that he could more effectively develop his idea and make it obvious to his audience that the idea at hand is conveyed as important. Through out this poem Layton is developing the idea that, occasionally people oversee their habitual practices, and ultimately don’t realize that every life form takes its own toll on the equilibrium of society.

Although this poem is literally about a human who notices an ant carrying a object, progresses to step on it and chooses not to. On a much more figurative level, we can infer that it is about an optimistic, white gentleman from an older ...view middle of the document...

I made notice of Layton’s strategic color choice for this object, seeing as later on in the poem he makes also makes a reference to the fact that the ant is black. This abundance of a black creature, aiding a dead, white one was blatantly unusual to this man possibly because he is from the time era when it was strange for there to be a present interaction between a black and white man. This character is open to the idea of change, but doesn’t necessarily understand it because as he says in the last two lines “I was too old to learn or perhaps didn’t care to know.”

The time of this play most likely occurs in modern time during a sunny day. The sun needs to be present for there to be a shadow cast. While watching this ant, the speaker is reflecting on his morals; seeing his shadow is symbolic of seeing what happened in the past and moving forward from it. Nearing the end of the poem, there is an acknowledgment made by the man that allows us to conclude that there is a possibility that the lesson to learn is on a moralistic level. Layton does a very good job at making the reader think about this as he ends with a statement that is comprised of the speaker questioning his comprehension of this situation.

“Go to the Ant” is a poem with a constant, simple tone that is very easy to follow. Through the example of this older man, the black ant, and the white object. Layton allows the audience to relate and embrace the idea of a changing societal equilibrium that has very much so benefited modern civilization is a positive way. This change over time has created strong individuals that do not care for and will hold onto to dear life to protect the belief that there should be no separation of persons based on color.

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