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* KillerGorilla: [[spoiler: Ishmael]], when he was younger, was a circus gorilla, with the advertising playing up his ferocity. He didn't quite understand why.


* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys

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* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeysEverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Or gorillas. [[spoiler: With gorilla gone, will there be hope for man?]]


Not to be confused with the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''Ishmael1985''.

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Not to be confused with the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''Ishmael1985''.''Literature/Ishmael1985''.

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Not to be confused with the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''Ishmael1985''.


* TheFilmOfTheBook: Sort of. ''Instinct,'' a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding, Jr., recasts the gorilla as an old man in jail for murder. [[spoiler:It turns out he was an anthropologist working with gorillas a la Jane Goodall. He's in prison because he killed two poachers while the protecting the apes he loved (and became part of their group).]]
** FilkSong: Similarly, PearlJam's "Do the Evolution" was inspired by the novel, with the narrator being basically a Taker proclaiming its superiority over everything on Earth.

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[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ish.jpg]]

''Ishmael'' is a philosophical novel written by Daniel Quinn and published in 1992. The book begins with our narrator finding an ad in the paper that states:

->''TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL.\\
Must have an earnest desire to save the world.\\
Apply in person.''

Jaded by the lack of change that occurred during the 60s, the narrator answers this ad to confront this so-called teacher, and ends up learning about just how the world works.

This novel is the first in a trilogy that includes ''My Ishmael'' and ''The Story of B''.
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!!This book contains the following tropes:
* AllTakeAndNoGive: What seems to be implied by the name 'Takers', as opposed to the 'Leavers'. The full meaning is more that the Takers take the government of the world out of the gods' hands, while the Leavers are willing to leave the world in it.
* BittersweetEnding: The narrator is Ishmael's first successful student and learns all that he needs to know, but [[spoiler:Ishmael dies]].
** In the sequel, [[spoiler:we find out that he actually faked his death so his student would quit following him around and go apply what he'd been taught]].
* CainAndAbel: Takers and Leavers, basically. Specifically, Ishmael theorizes the social conditions (competition between takers and leavers) under which the framework of the story of Cain and Abel arose.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Takers and Leavers, for, roughly, hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists. The difference is more complex than that, which is why he invents the new terminology.
* CatchYourDeathOfCold: [[spoiler:Ishmael [[FakingTheDead seems]] to do just that.]]
* DidntSeeThatComing: Bet you weren't expecting to find that Ishmael is actually [[spoiler:a telepathic gorilla]].
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:As shown in the sequel ''My Ishmael'', he didn't actually die]].
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: The ultimate consequences of Taker cultures ruling the earth.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Sort of. ''Instinct,'' a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding, Jr., recasts the gorilla as an old man in jail for murder. [[spoiler:It turns out he was an anthropologist working with gorillas a la Jane Goodall. He's in prison because he killed two poachers while the protecting the apes he loved (and became part of their group).]]
** FilkSong: Similarly, PearlJam's "Do the Evolution" was inspired by the novel, with the narrator being basically a Taker proclaiming its superiority over everything on Earth.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: The nameless narrator tells the story of Ishmael.
* GodIsFlawed: The Taker reasoning, according to the narrator, is that the gods made man to rule the world, but the gods were incompetent and made man flawed. Therefore, man has to take his destiny into his own hands.
* ItMakesSenseInContext: Actually, even after you find out what [[spoiler:the teacher really is]], it still doesn't really make sense. You just roll with it.
* {{Koan}}:
--->WITH MAN GONE\\
WILL THERE\\
BE HOPE\\
FOR GORILLA?
::The rejoinder:
--->[[spoiler:WITH GORILLA GONE]]\\
[[spoiler:WILL THERE]]\\
[[spoiler:BE HOPE]]\\
[[spoiler:FOR MAN?]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Before Ishmael was called Ishmael, his name was [[DavidVersusGoliath Goliath]].
* NobleSavage: Mentioned and refuted by Ishmael.
* ScrewDestiny: What Takers evidently say to the gods and the rest of the world. It doesn't turn out well, since it makes them arrogant, and they/we start [[AndManGrewProud growing proud]].
* ShoutOut: Quite a lot of references including but not limited to: Stonehenge, the Piped Piper, the Rosetta Stone, the second murderer in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}''...
* SternTeacher: Ishmael.

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