Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael - The Destruction Continues

Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael - The Destruction Continues

Length: 583 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Ishmael  - The Destruction Continues

Ishmael   The Biblical depiction of Adam and Eve's "fall" builds the foundation of Daniel Quinn's novel, Ishmael. In this adventure of the spirit, a telepathic gorilla, Ishmael, uses the history of Biblical characters in order to explain his philosophy on saving the world.  Attracting his final student, the narrator of the novel, with an advertisement "Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person," Ishmael counsels the narrator through a series of questions that force him to stretch his mind. Diving straight into Biblical allusions, Ishmael begins his lesson with the history of his evolution from "Goliath" (17) to Ishmael. He explains this evolution as a time of realization where he shifts from blindly accepting the infamous reputation of Goliath, an evil giant from the Bible, to the quiet, thoughtful being of Ishmael.

After his brief history, Ishmael shifts his attention to the creation. "A culture is a people enacting a story" (41), and the story of the Garden of Eden opened up new thoughts on man's transformation from dependent to independent beings. When Adam and Eve began their lives on earth, they fully depended on the gods for all their necessities. Just like all of the other animals in the garden, they followed the philosophy of "leavers" and left the question of who should live and who should die up to the gods. However, the serpent, a member of the "taker" group tempted Eve with fruit from a tree that would give them the knowledge of life and death. Eve, which means "life" (179) in turn, tempted Adam with the fruit. Although pre-warned that eating this forbidden fruit would kill man, Adam fell into temptation and his desire for life. Through this action, his eyes were partially opened to the gods' vision. However, this knowledge ultimately would lead to the fulfillment of the gods' warnings that "[the world's] doom was assured" (166). After man's realization, he placed himself in a category separate from the animals and beasts that continued to rely on the world's situation rather than themselves.

An allusion to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve's descendents, Cain and Abel continued the progression of man's shift from leavers, to what they are now, takers. The taker philosophy that "the world was made for man" (61), epitomized the their obstinate attitude that the universe was meant to be conquered and exploited by humans.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael - The Destruction Continues." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael - Paradigms of Yesterday Essay

- Ishmael:   Paradigms of Yesterday          "Come with me if you want to live," was all that Arnold Schwarzenegger said in his movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and after reading Daniel Quinn's masterpiece Ishmael, one might well receive the impression Quinn echoes such sentiments. Few books have as much relevancy in this technological, ever-changing world as Ishmael. In the beginning, according to Ishmael, God created Man to live peacefully on Earth, sustained by the fruitful bounties of Earth and subject to God's control....   [tags: Quinn Ishmael Essays]

Research Papers
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Exploring the Theme of Moral Responsibility in Daniel Quinn's Ishmael Essay

- We are destroying the earth in order to survive. What is our Moral Responsibility. Daniel Quinn has written a book about how things have come to be the way they are. He looks at the meaning of the world and the fate of humans. Ishmael the main character is a teacher of vast wisdom, as well as being a Gorilla. Being no ordinary Gorilla, Ishmael recognises the failing of human kind in relation to their moral responsibilities. He ultimately directs use towards a solution to the problems we have created for the planet....   [tags: Ishmael]

Research Papers
731 words (2.1 pages)

Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael - Horrifying Essay

- Ishmael: Horrifying Among the people of your culture, which want to destroy the world. Which want to destroy it. As far as I know, no one specifically wants to destroy the world. And yet you do destroy it, each of you. Each of you contribute daily to the destruction of the world. This truth was stated by a gorilla named Ishmael who, through his experiences of being taken from the jungle, placed in a zoo in the 1930's, put in a menagerie, and bought by a private owner named Mr. Sokolow, had all the time in a world to think about the world around him....   [tags: Quinn Ishmael Essays]

Free Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

Ishmael a Novel by Daniel Quinn Essay

- In his novel Ishmael, Daniel Quinn discusses the destruction and salvation of the world. By way of a newspaper ad, an unnamed narrator meets a telepathic gorilla, named Ishmael, who had put up the ad to find a pupil with a desire to save the world. Spurred by his benefactor’s obsession with Nazi Germany, Ishmael imparts on the narrator what he knows best: captivity (Quinn 24). Ishmael claims humans of what are considered civilized cultures are captives of a story that in turn keeps the world captive....   [tags: prison break, nazy germany, gorila]

Research Papers
1159 words (3.3 pages)

Good and Evil in Quinn's Ishmael Essay

- Human beings are destroying the world. It's a fact we all know. Pollution is abundant, we chop down rain forests, we kill our own kind, we steal, lie, and cheat, and the list could go on and on. Daniel Quinn believes that this destruction comes from something more extreme than just the notion to survive. In his novel, Ishmael, Quinn believes that the problems facing humanity are do to man's knowledge of good and evil.      Man's knowledge of good and evil gives us the power to rule the world any way we please....   [tags: Daniel Quinn essays research papers]

Research Papers
506 words (1.4 pages)

Mistakes of Mankind Exposed in Quinn's Ishmael Essay

- Mistakes of Mankind Exposed in Quinn's Ishmael Most humans are confused. Some know what the problem is, but most haven't even realized something is wrong. The novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is an attempt to bring about awareness of the mistakes that people have made and have continued to repeat through the course of human history. At its core, the story has two main characters: a teacher and a student. The teacher represents a solution to the destructive road that mankind has been traveling down and the student represents us: eager to mend our ways but apprehensive about the changes that will occur....   [tags: Quinn Ishmael Essays]

Free Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

The Message of Quinn's Ishmael Essay

- The Message of Ishmael Quinn gains a unique perspective on humanity through the main character of the novel, Ishmael. Ishmael is a gorilla. And Ishmael is a teacher who communicates with humans telepathically. On the surface, this hardly seems to be a character who would appear in a serious book; more likely a children's story, a fable, or perhaps a bad science fiction novel. Yet Ishmael is none of these, and Ishmael is a strong character, with a powerful intellect and a serious purpose....   [tags: Quinn Ishmael Essays]

Free Essays
968 words (2.8 pages)

The Lesson of Quinn's Ishmael Essay

- The Lesson of Quinn's Ishmael There are some books that you can just sit back and enjoy, just let the authors words wash over you and, most importantly, you don't have to think. And then there's Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. The novel Ishmael, "an adventure of the mind and spirit," opens with a disillusioned and depressed man in search of a teacher, and not just any teacher. He wants someone to show him what life is all about. And so he finds Ishmael, a meiutic teacher (one who acts as a midwife to his pupils, in bringing ideas to the surface), who turns out to be a large telepathic gorilla of extraordinary intelligence....   [tags: Quinn Ishmael Essays]

Free Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Daniel Quinn's Ishmael Essay

- In his novel Ishmael, Daniel Quinn discusses the destruction and salvation of the world. By way of a newspaper ad, an unnamed narrator meets a telepathic gorilla, named Ishmael, who had put up the ad to find a pupil with a desire to save the world. Spurred by his benefactor’s obsession with Nazi Germany, Ishmael imparts on the narrator what he knows best: captivity (Quinn 24). Ishmael claims humans of what are considered civilized cultures are captives of a story that keeps the world captive. This large group, Ishmael calls “Takers,” while everyone else—usually hunter-gatherers of “primitive” cultures—Ishmael calls “Leavers” (Quinn 39)....   [tags: destruction and salvation of the world]

Research Papers
996 words (2.8 pages)

Desconstruction of the Moderinistic Myth in Quinn's Ishmael Essay example

- Desconstruction of the Moderinistic Myth in Ishmael When I read Daniel Quinn’s works, Ishmael, Providence, The Story of B, and My Ishmael, I find a common theme woven throughout which is to desconstruct the moderinistic myth that we are apart from nature and therefore not subject to natural law. I don’t find Quinn’s ideas to be much different from what I read into David Orr’s Earth in Mind or David Ehrenfeld’s books Beginning Again and The Arrogance of Humanism. I doubt that Quinn, as a writer, thinks for one minute that we are no different from other species who inhabit Earth....   [tags: Quinn Ishmael Essays]

Free Essays
455 words (1.3 pages)

Related Searches

Cain, a member of the taker philosophy and an agriculturist felt man's fate was in his or her hands. He showed these beliefs through the harvesting and storing of food. Abel, a member of the leavers demonstrated his philosophy of leaving everything alone except for what was needed in his hunter gatherer lifestyle. Cain and Abel represented two cultures. When these two cultures clashed, the takers began "watering their fields with the blood of . . . herders" (173). Cain took Abel's life because according to him, the world was made for human control. Humans could will life as well as death. Slowly, as the takers and their philosophies took over the planet, they reemphasized the world's ultimate destruction.

Through the passage of time, these Biblical stories, written by the leavers, have been accepted into the culture of the takers. These allusions enhance the consequences of the takers and their beliefs because of their philosophy that they are their own gods and the world belongs to man. This philosophy has caused destruction. Unfortunately, not many realize it, and the destruction continues.
Return to 123HelpMe.com