also know as the Neolithic Revolution, the Agricultural Revolution began in the Fertile Crescent and other areas around the world about 10,000 years ago, and involved humanity trading a hunter-gatherer life for one devoted to food production
a genus of hominids representing an early stage of human evolution (pre-dating home sapiens sapiens); australopithecus developed in eastern Africa around 4 million years ago, and became extinct 2 million years ago
an East African term meaning "master," often used as a title or form of address
by Ishmael's definition, a people who together enact a shared story; see definition of "story" for further understanding
for Ishmael, enact means to live so as to make a particular story into a reality
global population control
a social movement which believes that man can increase food production around the world without subsequently increasing population; Ishmael vehemently denies this claim
a spiritual teacher
a genus of hominids representing an early stage of human evolution (pre-dating home sapiens sapiens); homo erectus developed in eastern Africa around 1.8 million years ago, and became extinct about 143,000 years ago
a genus of hominids representing an early stage of human evolution (pre-dating home sapiens sapiens); homo habilis developed in eastern Africa around 2.33 million years ago, and became extinct about 1.4 million years ago
law of limited competition
also known as the peace-keeping law, the law of limited competition is Ishmael's name for the law which states that Earth's species may compete with one another, but may not wage war on other species
Ishmael's name for people typically considered "uncivilized," those who continue to live outside the agricultural lifestyle
for Ishmael, a story that explains to a people their shared belief in "how things came to be"
a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition
the personified force that tells the story of the Takers; she speaks through several sources, including education, entertainment, and law
noble savage theory
a common Taker belief that people living close to nature tend to be noble; it is an unintentionally patronizing belief
post hoc, ergo propter hoc
a logical fallacy that says since one event followed another, the second event must have been caused by the first
for Ishmael, a story is a scenario that explains the relationship between man, the world, and the gods
Ishmael describes society as Taker prison, a realm of thought control that keeps us distracted while we continue to enact a harmful story that is destroying the world
Ishmael's name for people typically considered "civilized," the descendants of the agricultural revolution
for Ishmael, "the gods" are a personification of the forces that created the Earth and dictated the laws that have allowed life to persist throughout time
Ishmael Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ishmael is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Ishmael repeats that the agricultural revolution was more than just a technological event - it was also a philosophical one. Mother Culture teaches that human life was meaningless and ugly before the revolution, and the narrator agrees that most...
After some thought, the narrator figures out that those who live in the hands of the gods continue to evolve, while the Takers do not. Man became man by living in the hands of the gods, evolving from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens sapiens, but...
The law is “you may compete but you may not wage war” (129). This law promotes diversity because it allows millions of species to co-exist, and diversity is important because it allows the overall community of life to weather extreme climate...