A Jewish man who travels to the United States in the 1930s, loses his entire family to the Holocaust, and purchases Ishmael to serve as a strange, surrogate family. Mr. Sokolow is the first to give Ishmael his name, setting in motion Ishmael’s discovery of language and communication. Sokolow teaches Ishmael to speak, and, when Ishmael’s intellect begins to outstrip his own, becomes his research assistant. Mr. Sokolow is Rachel’s father and Grace Sokolow’s husband.
The timeline below shows where the character Walter Sokolow appears in Ishmael. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...“Leavers.” These two groups correspond to the “civilized” and the “primitive” peoples of the world. The narrator objects that it’s too facile to divide the world into only two categories, but Ishmael... (full context)
...that human beings are fundamentally flawed, and that they’ll never know how to live correctly. The narrator points out that these two points are one and the same. The fundamental flaw with... (full context)
...that humans must look for the laws of how to live by studying life itself. The narrator interprets this to mean that humans should study only human life—an interpretation that Ishmael sarcastically... (full context)
...original purpose of the story was to explain why the Takers left the Leavers behind. The narrator says he can’t imagine what Ishmael is talking about. Ishmael seems annoyed, and says that... (full context)
...why he didn’t try to avoid his eviction notice—Ishmael must have been forewarned of Mrs. Sokolow’s death. Ishmael says nothing. The narrator asks Ishmael if Ishmael is angry. Ishmael tells the... (full context)
...blacks are as powerful as whites within the prison—rather, it’s to destroy the prison itself. The narrator agrees, but thinks that this will never happen. Women don’t want to destroy the prison... (full context)