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I think the ant world described in “Departmental,” by Robert Frost is a fitting metaphor for the society in the story, “’Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” by Harlan Ellison. The ant society in “Departmental” is based on keeping up with the pace and getting all of their duties done. An ant comes across another ant that has passes away and thinks to himself that if he runs across someone that works for the higher master …

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…a difference in society so long as the person does not conform. With these three tools, the struggle between punctual society and the non-conformists is brought to life. Ellison wanted to make it clear that with out reform society and life will remain stale and stagnant. I think he uses the future as a basis for his story to convey that if we do not make changes today things will only continue to get worse.