Part One - ants, edifices, and lying

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Part One - ants, edifices, and lying

Post  jordenwiggins on Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:08 pm

I like how, through all of his rambling, the idea that the narrator is putting out is simply that he wants to do whatever he wants to do, and so do all people. We just want to feel like we're in control, like we have choices and some kind of power over the outcome of our lives. It rings pretty true for me. I can relate a lot, thinking about how many times I've knowingly done something wrong, questionable, dangerous, risky, shady, etc, while thinking about how it is probably a bad idea, but that I am definitely going to do it anyway. elephant I am kind of mystified at some of these smiley faces. lol!

I'd like to talk here, though, about the anthill and the crystal edifice.

The ants have anthills, which is stated to be an edifice that lasts forever (pg. 31). I think it's a very interesting dichotomy set up between humans and ants. Like, if humans were motivated solely through reason, we would be ants. Like the ants in the movie ants, how the workers just want to work (except the main character, Z, who goes through his whole existential crisis throughout the movie). The workers want to work, and the soldiers want to be soldiers, and in a huge anthill with probably a million ants, only one questions the system. He seems more motivated by his emotions than rationality. Maybe we should watch this movie as a class, now that it appears to be an amazing example of what the man underground is trying to express.

As for the crystal edifice, I was slightly more confused about the implications of that building. A crystal edifice is obviously very fragile, because it can be broken with a brick or something. It is also for some reason something at which you can't stick out your tongue. Why is this? It could be because it's clear (crystal), so that someone might see you and you're just not supposed to do it because it's rude. The narrator, though, gets all upset about this because he doesn't want restraints put upon his personal behavior. He is afraid of this edifice, perhaps in part because it would limit his personal freedom. Also, he seems to resist having an edifice created. It seems like he would prefer the act of creating an edifice more than living in a really nice, imposing crystal palace of some variety just because he can. He wants the unattainable, because once you get your desires then your desires change into something else, so we humans are never really satisfied.

But then he just says he's lying all the time, so we just have to pick out his opinions from the jumbles of information he presents. I think more than being a straight-forward liar, he is really just so indecisive that he easily contradicts himself, and he doesn't believe in anything strongly so he doesn't back up what he says with much confidence.

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jordenwiggins
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