Leiningen Versus the Ants is a short story that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on September 14, 1935. Leiningen himself is one of the main characters because he’s the protagonist and his personality best shows this. Leiningen is a plantation owner who has been driven from his home by hordes of ants. He says this about them: “That’s what Leiningen is, an ordinary man with less fear in him than most. To stay alive he’ll do anything – climb trees, jump off cliffs, fight naked against wild beasts. He’s got the will of a bulldog and he can swallow gallons of whisky without getting drunk. “
The narrator also has a good deal of personality that shows through tone and word choice. A few sentences later Leiningen says this about him: “He sees Leiningen beat the octopus’s eight muscular arms with his bare fists; again Leiningen takes on three men at once. ” Leiningen has quite a bit of confidence in his own abilities because he lets people know ever chance he gets. The language used to describe Leiningen and Leiningen’s words to the narrator give him an “I don’t care what you think” tone. Leiningen also makes it clear that he doesn’t have any fear of the oncoming onslaught of ants.
Leiningen gets into a lot of fights, especially with animals or other people. Leiningen is described as having “a grim tenacity for overcoming obstacles by sheer bulldog power. ” Leiningen starts off being able to beat up one man, maybe two but eventually Leiningen has to fight against 3 opponents at once in order win his fight. Leiningen was facing opponents who had swords so he didn’t have any weapons while they were armed. Leiningens opponents are described as “three men of Leiningen’s own breed, stocky, low-browed fellows with the jaws and shoulders of weight-lifters.
Leiningen is also described in this way: “he stands four inches over six feet; his biceps are like rocks; he has legs like twisted pythons. ” Leiningens opponents were taken aback by Leiningens appearance which helped him win the fight. Leiningen seems to be fearless because he doesn’t show any fear while fighting these three men. Leiningen shows no fear when facing the oncoming army of ants either. The ant seems to be one of Leiningen’s most daunting foes throughout the story who put quite a fight against Leiningen.
Leiningen talks about the ants in this manner: “Well, my friend, they’re an army of pismires that’s got twenty miles of country taped off. I know what my chances are with them. ” Leiningen is scared of the ants because he knows how many there are and that they have no mercy against anything. Leiningen shows good common sense when after fighting several men he realizes he doesn’t stand a chance against thousands of ants so Leiningen calls for help from his boss who will give him food and water rations to hold out until everything can be delivered to Leiningens plantation.
Leiningen is eventually saved by his boss but not before sacrificing himself like a true hero would do when faced with this threat of danger. Leiningen was selfless in deciding to take on the ants himself so everyone else could be saved. Leiningen is one of the main characters because he has a very detailed personality throughout the story that helps us learn about him and what his motives are when faced with this hazard of an army of ants coming towards his plantation that would eventually eat away Leiningens livelihood.
Leiningen makes it clear that he doesn’t care what people think about him or if they believe he can beat up numerous opponents at once, Leiningen knows no fear which makes him a hero to men everywhere in Leinigen Versus The Ants. Leinigen Versus The Ants takes place in South America and tells the tale of Leinigen who lives alone fighting off any animals or people who come onto his plantation which he managed to save up all money himself. Leinigen had another plantation that failed due to a drought so Leiningen saved every cent to buy this other plantation that was once owned by an Englishman named Marston who Leiningen admired.
Leinigen and Marston were alike in Leiningens opinion because they “had the same build, the same eyes; there was a similar jutting chin. ” Leiningen knew that Marston had to be like him since Leiningen saw himself as not just any ordinary man but as a leader of men. Leiningen didn’t know if he could succeed as a plantation owner as well as Marston did but Leiningen at least tried to be brave and failed once instead of never venturing out their again which is why Leiningen admires Marston so much since both men can lead others and can handle themselves in dangerous situations.
Leiningen, who is described as a man with “black hair and a bristling mustache” (Stephensen, Leiningen vs. The Ants 918), possesses both good and bad characteristics that are revealed throughout the course of Leiningen Versus The Ants. Leiningen is often shown to be confident in himself when it comes to facing difficulties. He believes he can use his experience to predict how an ant will react in certain situations. For instance, Leiningen claims that ants aren’t intelligent enough to “figure out anything but the straight line” (918).
Although Leiningen trusts that this rule applies to all ants everywhere, Leiningen’s lack of knowledge about many different types of ants leads him to make this assumption about an army of 68 billion ants. Leiningen’s humility and bravery also play a major role in Leiningen Versus The Ants. Leiningen, while not fearful of the initial ant attack on his plantation, is forced to take precautions before he can engage with the attacking ants again.
For instance, Leiningen says that “he had made himself master of [the] situation” (919) when talking about how many men he lost during the first battle. Leiningen clearly takes pride in his ability to conquer such a difficult situation before fully knowing what he was up against and without any help from other people. Leiningen’s willingness and desire to fight for what he loves also show Leiningen’s good characteristics. Leiningen risks almost certain death in order to defeat the ants that are attacking his plantation, even though he knows it is unlikely that he will survive.
Leiningen claims “If I had fifty men–no, forty–” (920) Leiningen would have continued fighting despite being outnumbered ten to one by the ant army. Leiningen is often praised for his courage and bravery throughout Leiningen Versus The Ants . Leiningen’s relationship with his wife also helps demonstrate Leiningen’s good characteristics. Leiningen does not hesitate to listen to her, as she is a woman who has successfully raised children on her own before getting married.