Analysis of “Top of the food chain” short story “The thing was, we had a little problem with the insects… ” The narrator’s tone in ‘Top of the Food Chain” is quickly shown as self-serving in working for his comforts and indifferent to the havoc his choices make on the environment. T. Coraghessan Boyle’s story is more than just a narration of selfish person’s mistakes. The narrators tone is a literary element used to develop the theme hat humans aren’t always on Top of the Food Chain.
From the very first sentence, the narrator is shown as a self-serving person. In charge of a group bringing health care to a third-would village, his choices to “improve” the lives of the villagers lead to wreaking the local food chain? It starts by poisoning the flies, which poison the geckos, which kill off the cats, which allow the rats to take Over, and Start spreading diseases to the humans and ruin crops.
The narrators condescending tone towards these events is the most important factor that T. Coraghessan Boyle uses to develop his theme. The narrator assumes he is at the top of the food chain, and he has no problem killing off the smaller species. The narrator is too indifferent to realize that by hurting the lower members of the food chain, he ends up hurting himself. The narrator claims that “No one could have foreseen the consequences, no one.
However, his tone and the circumstances spelled out in the story imply that he just doesn’t care about anything other than what he wants. The narrator’s arrogance and belief that he can do whatever he wants without hurting himself reflects his idea that he is Top of the Food Chain. He learns the hard way that his selfish actions turn around and hurt him in the end. T. Coraghessan Boyle uses this tone to illustrate the idea that perhaps the food chain isn’t a chain, but a circle.
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