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Ishmael

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  • April 2005
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Ishmael
The book Ishmael, which was written by Daniel Quinn, is an adventure for the human mind and for society as a whole. Throughout the book Quinn explores many factual scientific principals, but the intent of the book is not to give one a lecture on science. The intentions of Quinn are to discuss and examine the beginnings and also the history of our ecologically dominating culture in which we live in. In this book, Ishmael is a telepathic, highly educated gorilla who explores with his fifth pupil the stories of the Takers and the Leavers. The Takers is a society in which man has freed himself from living day to day, through this wondering if he will be able to find food tomorrow. Takers believe that through technology they can achieve a perfect world where no one suffers from hunger, disease, and poverty. Ishmael though points out that through this search for this perfect world that this has lead to the desecration of the Leaver culture and a decline in community diversity; humanity must find a different way to live. The Leavers are a different culture with a different outlook than the Takers. The Leavers live within their means and do not exempt themselves from the laws of competition. From Ishmael, "The Leaver lifestyle it's about letting the rest of the community live---and agriculturalists can do that" (Quinn 250). Leavers see the world before the humans as orderly, and in perfect working condition. As a result of the Leavers not producing excessive food their numbers are naturally maintained at a level that is comparable to their available resources. They also do not push other species out of the way to make more room for their own food. The Leaver culture is not an "uncivilized" one. This culture of the Leavers is a great contrast to that one of that that Takers have. To the Takers point of view, the world before them seemed to be chaotic, messy, and in need of some straightening out. The basic premise of the Takers philosophy is that...

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