Ishmael Study Questions

Topics: Human, Earth, Homo sapiens idaltu Pages: 6 (2007 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Chapter 1
1. How are people like severed fingers from a hand?
People are like severed fingers from a hand because they cannot function alone. They need their main component (the palm) to work correctly.

2. How are people not like severed fingers from a hand?
People are not like severed fingers from a hand because they are individuals with their own ideas and personalities; they need a ruler, but they don’t necessarily have to be controlled.

3. What does it mean for a teacher to fail?
If the student fails, the teacher fails. If the teacher cannot compel the student to do something, to use his own mind to solve a problem, then he has failed because the student was not successful.

4. How is being a captive similar to being lied to?
Being captive, in the perspective of an animal taken from its habitat, is similar to being lied to in the sense that the animal would not realize he is captive. He would just think, “Oh, there’s something wrong here, but I don’t quite know what it is.” He would be in a different place that doesn’t seem right, but he must accept it because it is the only way he knows to live.

5. Why is it important that Ishmael’s student have no one he considers an appropriate teacher? It is important that the student has no one he considers an appropriate teacher because he needs to have an open mind. His teacher is a gorilla after all, and if the student had a predisposition towards a human teacher, then he probably would not embrace the teachings of Ishmael. Chapter 2

1. How are you held captive?
I am a captive to Mother Culture, who has been whispering myths in my ear my entire life. Ever since I was born, I have been told the story of Mother Culture and am now held captive by this story.

2. What vocabulary, maps, and definitions would you pack in a bag to tell this story? I would pack a map of the ancient world (Mesopotamia), my AP World vocabulary (plus Mother Culture) and Ishmael’s definitions of Takers and Leavers.

3. In your own words, tell the story (or myth) that our culture believes would integrate man, the world and the gods. Before there was a universe, there was nothing. Just darkness. But one day, God decided to say, “Let there be light!”, and there was light. That was the beginning of the world as we know it. Before there was man, there were simple creatures. These simple creatures evolved into bigger animals, such as jellyfish and algae. Eventually, there came land animals, and at some point, there came the first man. The man also evolved from being australopithecines, to homo, to homo sapiens, and finally to homo sapiens sapiens, which is what is known as man today.

Chapter 3
1. If the earth is made for humans, what does that mean about how or how many of the earth’s resources humans are free to use? If the Earth was made for humans, then humans should be free to use any resources available to them and in whatever way they wish. Other animals can live so long as they don’t interfere with the way humans wish to use their resources, because humans would be considered the greatest creation of God. Based on this idea, access to resources should be unlimited.

2. How and why does the creation myth change by assuming there is a different agenda? The creation myth changes when there’s a different agenda because evolution would not come to a halt at homo sapiens sapiens; rather, man would continue to evolve and the creation myth would never end. Chapter 4

1. Why is the student frozen up inside? What does this mean? Why is Ishmael for him? Is there evidence to suggest that he is or is not actually “frozen up inside”? The student is “frozen up” inside because he likes emotion; he is jaded by all that he has seen and believes of the world. Ishmael is upset about this because he believes that what he tells the student is extraordinary, and the fact that the student doesn’t outwardly respond to his teachings. However, from the answers that...
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