I will argue that Gallinger made many avoidable assumptions throughout the novel, such as: Braxa loving him, the matriarchs voting against him, and thinking that the Martian culture was unsophisticated. Assumptions can be defined as hasty conclusions, typically based off of prior knowledge, which may or may not hold true. Gallinger is the protagonist in “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”; he is a linguist, poet, and quite versed in theology. Braxa is a Martian woman whom performs the Dances of Locar. Lastly, the matriarchs, or the mothers, are the Martian women who hold the power and make decisions.
Gallinger’s most influential assumption was the assumption regarding Braxa. When Braxa was performing her dances, Gallinger immediately fell in love with her. Little did he know, Braxa was just fulfilling a prophecy, and never actually loved him. However, Gallinger made the assumption that she loved him based on her actions. This was proven to be false after his preaching had made a positive impact on the matriarchs and Braxa had fled away from Gallinger. He could have avoided the heartbreak, and even his attempted suicide, if he would have simply asked Braxa about her feelings towards him instead of inferring that her affection was true. On the other hand, I suppose Gallinger cannot be blamed for his assumption in this case, for it was destined to happen.
At the end of the story, Gallinger went to the Temple to preach to the Mothers hoping to convince them to no longer mandate death upon the Martian species. Using logic, he wished to influence the Mothers to realize that they weren’t all infertile; it was just the Martian men. Thus, they could reproduce with the men of Earth. After his speech, the matriarchs all raised their hands. Gallinger assumed this meant that he had failed and that he needed to stop. However, with M’Cwyie’s entrance and overt approval, it was