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Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael

Chapter nine is set, still, in the office building. However, this is the final chapter that is set here. This chapter can be seen as an intellectual and philosophical turning point since both the irony and the truth of the stories finally comes to light, and it encourages an exodus out of the office building and into the carnival. It is essentially the final “book” lesson—the last of the theory before the student moves out in the tangible world to practice the lessons he has learned so far. The focus of the chapter is on the irony of the Takers appropriating a story from the Leavers perspective and utilizing it as propaganda.

Ultimately the Takers assert once again that their way is the only way, and those who disagree must be destroyed. We can see these concepts in action as the current U. S. presidential elections come to a close. Though change and the ideals of the Leavers have been supported in both campaigns, they each also embrace the basic cultural of the Takers since this is the predominant mindset of this country. They are attempting to appeal to the Taker culture, and taking with them the lessons learned from it, while trying to shift to a more wise and mature age of the Leavers.

Chapter ten essentially exposes the dynamic relationship between the Takers and the Leavers. It shows that neither culture is completely independent, or pure, since they both evolve from one another. The chapter focuses and encourages diversity, and states that the wisdom comes from experience, and does not evolve in a vacuum. These concepts are supported by the fact that this chapter is the first that takes place outside of the office building. The exodus from the building demonstrates Biblical exodus, which in turn symbolizes the evolution of the thoughts and culture of the human species.

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