A Thematic Analysis of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

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The Overall Theme of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

The overall theme of Diamond’s novel has to do with the progression of the human race in different areas of the world. He said that the development of different people was not based off of genetic composition but their location on the earth. Diamond gives many examples to back up his claim.

Diamond uses many different examples from different time periods and different areas of the world. He starts at around 11,000 BCE with the earliest recorded appearance of village life. Here he talks about how humans were spread throughout the world. A historian could not have made an educated guess about which Group of people would advance farther or faster than others. They could only make significant arguments for each group (52).

Skipping forward in time to modern days, Diamond says that IQ is not a factor that can be measured in the development of different civilizations because of their cultural differences. One example is the comparison of like the differences between life in America and the life in New Zealand. The different environment caused the people to grow different culturally (21). Giving the same IQ test to one person in each country would not be fair because the two were taught different things in their lifetime. Diamond’s time spent in New Zealand led him to believe that the people in New Zealand may be mentally superior to Westerners.

Diamond successfully argued his point quite convincingly. With the historical evidence and the amount of examples and information in the 400 page book, it leaves very little room for argument. Diamond’s explanation, saying the development of people is caused by location, is substantially backed up by the rest of the book.

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