Ishmael Summary

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In Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, there is a heavy tie to the Socratic method, which consists of a deep theoretical question that is answered, and then the answer is asked another theoretical question. The connection between the Narrator and Ishmael consists of Socratic dialogue. This dialogue intends to draw information from a subject, and scrutinize the information obtained. There is also usage of the Socratic Method demonstrated in the Ted Talk: Philosophy in Prison. In the case of Philosophy in Prison, the Socratic Method is used to discuss the topic of what wrong really means. The Socratic Method shapes the entire format of dialogue for Ishmael. The interaction in which Ishmael asks the narrator about whether or not he would be willing to stop enacting a taker story, and start enacting a leaver story is a prime example. The usage of Socratic Dialogue from Ishmael towards the Narrator leaves the narrator room to gather his own opinions. Quinn also intended for the audience to connect with the narrator through interpretation of the questions included in the Socratic Dialogue, for many may find that viewing an interaction from the third person perspective would be a bore. The connection to the…show more content…
The speaker recalls an introduction to a class of inmates. An inmate speaks out and essentially says ‘What are you going to tell me about the difference between right and wrong?’ The speaker replies with the question: You think you know what wrong is? Tell me what wrong is. I don't want an example, I want to know what wrong is.” The Socratic Dialogue consists of the opening question of ‘What does wrong mean? What makes something wrong? What is the idea behind ‘wrong’?’ The inmate then says “I’m tired of being wrong. I want to know what is wrong. I want to know what I know.” The speaker replies with ‘I do not know. Let us think about this together?” And that, in itself, is the Socratic

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