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 Ishmael 
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Okay, this has nothing to with the theme of the book, but how many people think Ishmael dumped the ol' narrator and is now touring the US in a carnival happily pysching people out?

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Paula Holder


Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:31 pm
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:roll: You know Paula, you could be on to something!!!

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Melanie Sharpe


Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:50 pm
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LOL.... He sure is a smarter monkey than I am!!!! One thing I am curious about: On P.172, Ishmael declares that the Caucasians were the people who were central to 'The Fall". And the student just agrees and accepts THAT as being fact. Why? Why would Ishmael say that? Doesn't say the word Caucasion anywhere in my Bible. Is the author African-American? Does he have a racist perspective?

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RANDY K. SAIN
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Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:13 pm
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Curious isn't it? He misdefined Adam as well. According to the Strong's Concordance Adam means "red".

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Paula Holder


Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:33 pm
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I can't really get my brain around the idea of Ishmael and the narrator having these conversations. They're interesting, yes, but I have decided to read it more as an allegory, with Ishmael being a symbol for living things representing a point of view that could be argued against history as we know it.

And no, I am not taking any medicine right now.

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Bonnie Schultz
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Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:52 am
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I wonder if the auther choose the gorilla because of the way the public perceives Darwin? Kind of an immediate and lasting challenge to the reader.

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Paula Holder


Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:34 pm
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I think you're right, Paula. I took that as symbolism too. But it was also ironic because Darwin taked about physical evolution, and here we have a gorilla talking about cultural evolution, which to me means everything else beyond the physical. There's also the passage toward the end in which Ishmael questions the narrator about evolution of the two cultures.

I think I could reread this book and still not understand every point he's making. The tone of the entire book conveys such disillusionment that I find it difficult to grasp all of what he's trying to say. Having all of history divided into two cultures is also a bit to swallow. I honestly can't see all of it as being so polarized, although I do think that humanity is flawed from the gitgo.

Here's the question for me that the book can't answer; Isn't it possible to believe that humanity is flawed (Takers), while still believing that we are a part of the larger world (Leavers)? I guess that seeing the entire history of the world put into two boxes doesn't leave a lot of room for choices, as if your cultural history is dictated by where you happen to be born. It just leaves me cold. That may be as far as I can get with it. BMS

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Bonnie Schultz
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Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:11 am
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Iagree. I had a lot of trouble with the author's premise mankind wasn't flawed, that it was just the story that we tell ourselves that gets us into trouble. I too believe that mankind is flawed. I've never met a perfect person, or animal for that matter. I feel that our story is flawed because we are. But agreeing to disagree is also a theme in the book so....

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Paula Holder


Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:30 pm
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