Just finished Oryx and Crake, a book which I thought, at best, could be called mediocre. Yet, there were still a few rare compelling phrases and ideas…My favorite part of the book came just two pages before the end:
Can a single ant be said to be alive, in any meaningful sense of the word, or does it only have relevance in terms of its anthill? An old conundrum of Crake’s.
Does this metaphor apply to humans? Are we alive only when we have a purpose to the rest of society? (And if so, what does this mean for those who choose paths of complete solitude?) To what extent does society play a role in our lives and vice versa? I often hear phrase, from peers and myself, I’m trying to find my major/niches/post-grad plans/job/purpose in life/etc. It’s a quest that pervades epochs and cultures. The timeless question. But this quote begs the question, which I ask myself and you, can a single person be said to be alive only in relevance of society?