Chapter Summaries: A Chapter Summaries Of Ishmael's Fiction
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The narrator is reading the newspaper and sees an advertisement that is asking for a student that is interested in saving the world. The narrator feels the advertisement is a scam and there will most likely be a long line of people interested in being his student. However, because as a child he looked for a teacher, the narrator decides to go find out whether the advertisement is a scam or not. The narrator is shocked to see no one in line but even more shocked to see that the teacher is not a human but a gorilla. However the biggest shock is when he finds out that the gorilla can communicate telepathically with him. To help ease the shock, the gorilla offers to explain his background. We find out that the gorilla is named Ishmael and was named by a Jewish man called Walter Sokolow. Walter Sokolow’s family died in the holocaust and Walter has become depressed. Walter talks to the gorilla and uses him as some sort of psychiatrist. During one of these sessions Ishmael attempts to stroke Walter’s hand and it is then that Walter realizes that Ishmael understands and is an intelligent gorilla. Walter thought Ishmael all about humans and Ishmael helped cure Walter of his depression. Walter then marries and has a child named Rachel. Ishmael teaches Rachel and helps her become extremely smart and get her master’s degree before she was 20. Ishmael lets the narrator know that he is not the first student and the four others before him failed and quit. The narrator feels that he is being lied to by society and comes the next day for more teaching.
Ishmael tells the narrator about Walter Sokolow’s obsession with Hitler and how Hitler held every German’s attention by telling them a story about Aryan power. Ishmael feels...
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...rator then understands and says that the Takers will repeat their same mistakes again in the same fashion. Ishmael then finishes by saying that trial and error is a disastrous way to build civilizations.
Ishmael tells the narrator that the gods played three tricks on the Takers. The first trick the gods played was not placing the Takers at the center of the universe. The second trick the gods played was having humans evolve like every other species. The third trick the gods played was not creating special rules for man. All these three tricks contradict what man makes himself appear to be. Ishmael explains this by comparing the Takers to aeronauts. The narrator then understands and says that the Takers will repeat their same mistakes again in the same fashion. Ishmael then finishes by saying that trial and error is a disastrous way to build civilizations.