The Themes Of War In Ishmael By Daniel Quinn

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In Daniel Quinn’s book, Ishmael, there are plenty of themes that we could point out. Although, the theme that sticks out to me is the theme of war. War can be defined as an sustained effort to deal with or end a particular undesirable situation or condition. The causes of a war beginning are often numerous and there can be multiple reasons for a war. War can be started for economic gain or to gain more territory. It could start because of conflicting religions or it could be a revolution to rid of an oppressive government. However, in Ishmael, war is found throughout the book as a blunt teaching device by Ishmael as he uses it to show how selfish man can be in war. Whether it’s Hitler’s propaganda in WWII to control the Germans, or references …show more content…
In the case in Ishmael man is referred to as the Takers. Ishmael sends the narrator to search for the law of the limits of competition (Quinn, “Eight.” Ishmael, pg.131-135). The narrator comes back with the four principles of the law and how the takers don’t follow it. The one example that shows signs of war is when the Takers are eliminating their competition for the food supply so that they are the only ones that have access to it. This alone shows that the Takers are fighting to solve a shorthand problem for their food supply and that they care not that they’re running their competition into the ground to the brink of extinction. The Takers are more willing to kill off diversity than share a food source with anything …show more content…
The Takers are compared to Cain and the Leavers are compared to Abel. A reason that the two are fighting is that the brothers were both asked to offer a sacrifices to God Cain’s sacrifice was rejected and so Cain kills Abel for two reasons, jealousy and so that he could take Abel’s land so that he may expand his food production. The latter of the two is the main reason, it’s the selfishness of Cain that drives him to kill so that he can may expand his food. Cain sees Abel as competition to his food supply so he that he can thrive. Takers aren’t only killing the Leavers but that they are also killing the animals, “Nobody eats but us. All this food belongs to us and no one else can have any without our permission.”
(Quinn, “Nine.” Ishmael, pg.189). The Leavers believes that the Takers are also saying that “What we want to live lives and what we want to die dies.” (Quinn, “Nine.” Ishmael, pg.189). The selfishness of man is clear cut and shows that they don’t care that starting wars isn’t the best decision but the easier one. Ishmael teaches the narrator that war is a solution for man uses to solve his short term problems regardless of the long term effects multiple times but is most understood with the story of Cain and Abel. The reason for Cain to slay his brother is understood to be an act for his own personal gain. To

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