Aesop’s story tells of a hardworking ant that works his whole life in order to save for his old age. The grasshopper, an easy-going creature spends his life, laid-back, with a philosophy that life is what it is, and optimistically thinking that everything will be fine without any effort. At the end of the story the two characters meet and find the expected results; that the ant has resources saved that help him in his old age, while the grasshopper ends up miserable and lonely. The reader expects that when the two men come face to face with each other many years later, the “grasshopper” will be found suffering from his past sins while the “ant” deservedly, lives in luxury. But Maugham shocks us by describing that the grasshopper, now an elderly round and happy man dressed in luxurious clothes, still enjoys life, while the ant is thin and bedraggled from the austere, worry-filled life he has lived.
The moral therefore is that while it is important to strive for goodness and fairness, understanding, honesty and humility in the hope of achieving success, these things may not necessarily be granted us. In most cases, the consequences of one’sbad actions are followed by punishment and the good deeds by reward, but it is not always the outcome. Whether it is luck or fate, or the nature of life itself, each individual will receive both the wanted and unwanted cards randomly from the pack despite all the efforts to keep bad things at a distance, and good things close by.
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