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Understanding The Importance of Adaptation as Illustrated in The Rattler

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Adaptation is the Key to Survival

Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction. However one may not know the right time to make an action. In some instances sitting and waiting can be disastrous. One may find that to deal with his or her problem a pre-emptive strike is necessary. In the short story, “The Rattler”, the author argues that however well one adapts to changes is representative of their success in life, because the proactive and optimistic are able to achieve their goals more readily. The author discusses that the more quickly one reacts to a problem directly relates to their success in overcoming the problem and addresses often the most difficult decisions lead to success.

The writer believes that taking a long time to react to situations can be harmful and self-destructive. He or she exemplifies this attitude towards adaptation through the use of the snake. The snake plans to move to the ranch to do its activities when it is forced to adapt. The snake is forced to make a decision about whether to strike the rancher or to run, however the character makes no move, and eventually dies because of its lack of adaptation. The snakes death is representative of how the writer feels about waiting. The author believes that waiting, metaphorically shown in the story through the snake, can allow life to move past someone. One may lose his or her way while waiting for something to happen. Supporting this idea, the author also believes that the one who adapts the fastest, survives. The snake possesses a certain calmness and nonchalance about the problems he faces, the author uses the snakes qualities to explain to the reader that such nonchalance and indifference leads to ones unfortunate and avoidable demise. The author uses the character of the rancher to represent one who moves quickly, and adapts quickly to a given problem. The rancher had control of the situation with the snake as seen through the quote, “he was waiting for me to show my intentions.” This quote shows how the power shifted to the person who would make the first move, the rancher made a difficult decision and was more powerful because he struck with the hoe before the snake could bite him. The author suggests that this parallels how people adapt to changes in real life; whoever reacts quickest to new and unprecedented changes will ultimately become more successful. In order to react one must make quick decisions decisions that are often the most difficult to make.

The author suggests that often the hardest decisions to make allow one to have the most success possible in life. In the short story the author uses the character of the rancher and his uncertainty to do what he must to explain that tough decisions are the most influential decisions. The rancher states, “I have never killed an animal I was not obliged to kill… my duty, plainly, was to kill the snake,” the quote shows how he had to make a decision that went against his moral code because he felt a responsibility to. The rancher made the difficult decision and because he did, protected children and women at the ranch. This idea of how hard decisions are influential can be shown in everyday life. The author also uses the Rancher as a character to reinforce this point. The rancher is responsible, hard-working, and cares for animals, these are all traits that modern society groups with successful and ideal people. Therefore the author uses such an ideal character doing such a difficult thing to explain to the reader that even ideal people have to make hard decisions and the decisions ultimately help them. The author told the story through the point of view of the rancher to give the audience insight into the difficult decision he had to make, further driving home the point that hard decisions are made by important successful people, just as the rancher was important and ultimately successful in the story.

The author uses characterization of the snake and the rancher to discuss how different types of people deal with adaptations. When forced to adjust many people move quickly however many people don’t react. The author uses these different types of people to draw an emotional connection between the readers and the characters, by using everyday personality types such as nonchalance or productiveness. Some readers may not agree with The author’s argument that quick reactions are best but everyone should understand the merits behind his argument.

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Understanding The Importance of Adaptation as Illustrated in The Rattler. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from
“Understanding The Importance of Adaptation as Illustrated in The Rattler.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
Understanding The Importance of Adaptation as Illustrated in The Rattler. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 Feb. 2023].
Understanding The Importance of Adaptation as Illustrated in The Rattler [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 11 [cited 2023 Feb 9]. Available from:
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