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It's often difficult for students to grasp the sarcasm in Thoreau's battle of the ants. He uses a game that involves black and red ants to describe and question a very real war. Had he attacked the American Revolution up front as an irrational and "wrong" stance, the people of Concord would have become defensive and angry. In his comparison, he attempts to make the point that the ants are more heroic and suffer the loss of more lives than those who fought at the Battle of Concord. He highlighted the very real truth that ants don't hire outsiders to do their fighting, and therefore their battle is a far more important to them than it was to men men of Bunker Hill. An apt conclusion to Thoreau's purpose is that in reality human wars aren't any more sensible and hold no more logic than the wars of ants.