Essay On Daniel Quinns Ishmael

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Essay On Daniel Quinns Ishmael

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Daniel Quinn: Saving the World (excerpt) -- A Thinking Allowed DVD w/ Jeffrey Mishlove

Because of this perspective, he is best able to realize the mentality and nature of captivity. This is important since his lessons revolve around the belief that Taker society is being held captive by the story Mother Culture tells. Secondly, the fact that a wild animal is teaching us about our own captivity reminds us that the proper way to live is through a harmony with nature. Everything in life has something to teach to everything else - together, all life teaches the natural laws that ensure harmony. Finally, as a gorilla that was brought into civilization by Walter Sokolow , he has the opportunity to understand both Taker and Leaver lifestyles. Thus, he is able to both criticize the Taker lifestyle, and offer a viable alternative.

Thus, it is useful to articulate the argument simply. Quinn's ideas center on the development of civilization and totalitarian agriculture. What makes humans Takers so destructive is their insistence on forcing the agricultural way of life on everyone else. This way of life presumes that humans are both apart from and against nature, and that humans should manipulate nature for the sake of food production. As a result, humans are slowly destroying the world. Arguably one of the most interesting sections of the novel is Quinn's perspective on the stories of Adam and Cain and Abel. His basic approach is that these stories were told by Semites, who were herders, to explain the aggressiveness of the agricultural Taker civilization that developed in the Fertile Crescent.

This language explains the story in a useful way - 'man' has been tempted to perpetuate the growth of 'life' through agriculture, and hence has traded the harmony of a pastoral garden for a difficult life of toil to that end. More importantly, Taker culture has never been able to understand the meaning of these stories. Had they written the stories, knowledge of good and evil would never have been penalized; it would have been considered man's birthright. Finally, the fact that agriculture is considered a curse suggests that the Takers would never have written this story.

Most cultural movements, like the revolutions of the s and s, are bound to fail because they operate within the thought prison of Taker culture, rather than seeking to dismantle the prison altogether. Most protesters glimpse a problem, but never identify exactly what they are rebelling against. Specifically, what protests would have to work against is the assumptions that man is the apex of evolution, and that the agricultural way of life is necessarily superior.

In a sense, this is the main point of Ishmael - we must first have awareness of what is happening if we are to enact useful change. And in this case, this requires relinquishing most of what we take for granted, rather than trying to change the system while under the sway of certain pernicious assumptions. What is the significance of the story that the narrator wrote in college, about Nazi Germany? In writing the story, the narrator was articulating his feeling that something was wrong with the planet. However, he also had to admit that he was unable to articulate the nature of that problem. Overall, the narrator's story serves as a metaphor for the problems that arise when no one knows exactly what is wrong.

Like Ishmael indicates, this uncertainty is one of the most problematic aspects of Taker civilization, since it leads to problems like crime, greed, and insanity. Much as German society might have been improved if its citizens were aware of what was happening under Hitler, our issues could be addressed if we become aware of the pernicious story being told by Mother Culture. Once Ishmael was re-named, his holistic self-view began his journey towards knowledge.

By recognizing the importance of identity, he was beginning to understand the nature of mankind's captivity. Overall, the lesson is that individuals must realize that they can break the conformity engendered by Mother Culture's story. They can be "made whole" so long as they can break free of the thought prison, but that first requires an individual commitment towards knowledge and truth. When Ishmael learned he was not a nameless gorilla but rather an individual with particular capabilities, he began to work towards helping society in his own way. This Latin phrase translates to "after this, therefore because of this," and is a logical fallacy.

It states that a second event must have caused a first event simply because it came after it. However, this is the final chapter that is set here. This chapter can be seen as an intellectual and philosophical turning point since both the irony and the truth of the stories finally comes to light, and it encourages an exodus out of the office building and into the carnival. The focus of the chapter is on the irony of the Takers appropriating a story from the Leavers perspective and utilizing it as propaganda. Ultimately the Takers assert once again that their way is the only way, and those who disagree must be destroyed.

We can see these concepts in action as the current U. Though change and the ideals of the Leavers have been supported in both campaigns, they each also embrace the basic cultural of the Takers since this is the predominant mindset of this country.

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