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Edwin Rimular

Professor Ludwig

English 101H

4 December 2017

Reading Assignment #7

In American society, the constant advancement of technology is praised by many, as it

has a positive effect on peoples everyday lives. However, the increase in the use of natural

resources to create new inventions is gradually degrading the environment, raising concern for

the planets overall health. In his poem what the ants are saying, author Don Marquis brings to

our attention the damage that mankind is imposing onto the natural environment. Marquis uses

repetition and a logical appeal to support his claim that the constant degradation of the

environment due to the carelessness and greed of mankind has a negative impact on Earth.

By using repetition, Marquis is emphasizing what the environment will become in the

future due to the gradual degradation caused by man. Due to the overuse of natural resources in

society, he claims that man is making deserts of the earth (line 15). Marquis uses the word

deserts to evoke the thought of a dry, empty landscape of sand and dead foliage, or in this case,

the future of the environment. The continuation of chopping down forest trees for lumber will

eventually lead to this idea of a empty landscape with no plant life inhabiting it. Marquis states

that man is cutting the ground from under his own feet making deserts deserts deserts (lines

24-25). Using the word deserts thrice in a row, Marquis is emphasizing the deteriorating health

of the outdoors to the audience, all caused by mankind. He asserts that what man calls

civilization always results in the deserts (lines 34-35). The industrial economy created by
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mankind is damaging nature, as the extraction of natural resources is vital for the health of the

economy. The repetition of the word deserts is used to bring attention to what the world will

eventually become if mankind does not stop harming the environment - one enormous desert.

Marquis uses a logical appeal to highlight the negative impact of mankind onto nature.

As time increases, mankinds damage to the environment does as well, leading Marquis to state

each generation wastes a little more of the future with greed and lust for riches (lines 38-39).

The greedy nature of humans is the catalyst of why resources are constantly being gathered. As

generations advance, it is inevitable that technology will improve also, leading to a higher

demand to create and mass produce new products. In society, the state of the economy is highly

important, as people constantly focus on ways to improve it. Marquis claims that men talk of

money economics while men talk they are making deserts all the time (line 48). As

aforementioned, that greedy nature of man will cause the Earth to be a giant desert due to the

mass acquisition of natural materials that will be used for technology. Being too focused on

money, mankind is utilizing resources to generate more revenue, while continually ignoring the

effect of their actions on nature. The author is emphasizing that there is a tradeoff between

financial success and the health of the environment. Marquis is asserting that if man does not

control his greedy ways, the Earth will continue to suffer.

In order to maintain the health of the environment, people must minimize their greedy

nature and begin to take greater care of the outdoors. In his poem what the ants are saying,

author Don Marquis uses a logical appeal and repetition of the word deserts to emphasize the

negative actions of humans onto nature. The future of the environments health is in the hands of

mankind, as humans are the reasons for its suffering.


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Works Cited

Marquis, Don. from what the ants are saying. American Earth, Ed. Bill McKibben, The

Library of America, 2008, pp. 235-238