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Snakes Essay

1031 words - 5 pages

Life vs. Death

In the short story, “The Rattler”, a man and a rattle snake cross paths in the desert, and life vs. death is involved. The man has to decide whether he should kill the snake or not, and he decided that he is obligated to. Though we understand both sides of the story, the man should not have killed the snake. The snake was calm and alert, not trying to harm anyone, but still protecting himself. In the short passage, “The Rattler” , the personification of the snake, the point of the man, and details about the setting all lead readers to feel sympathy toward the snake, as well as sorrow and frustration towards the man.
Readers feel sorry for the snake because it loses its ...view middle of the document...

The snake obviously values its life, how dare the man even think about taking away his sacred life away from it? Just because the snake is a snake, does not mean that it does not value its life just as much as we and the man do. And the snake is most definitely not afraid to fight for its life if it comes down to it. The snake is strong and powerful, not easily pushed around. The snake is not afraid to show its abilities, but has no intention to attack the man for no reason, but is completely able to defend itself. Readers feel sorry for the man because this snake is so admirable, yet, has lost its life.
Readers feel both sympathy and frustration towards the man because though he should not have killed the snake, he has a family to take care of, and he feels sorry about killing the snake afterwards. The man goes out on an evening stroll, and finds himself in a situation that involves a hard situation, the famous question, “should he kill the snake or not”? And so, the man is misguided, the man thinks that he is doing the right thing, but is he? First of all, the snake is in its own habitat, the desert. It is the man who has tres-passed. The snake was not doing anything at all, but a lot of things became a consideration to the man, like his family and the animals. The man should have gone with his “first instinct” which was to not kill the snake. “My first instinct was to let him go his way and I would go mine, and this would have been well content”. The man is also deliberate. Killing the snake was done consciously and intentionally. As soon as he started thinking about other factors like the children and animals, he quickly decided that he should kill the snake. “My duty, plainly, was to kill...

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