Moby Dick Essay: Chapter 58
It is in human nature to hold in contempt and fear things unknown to them, on the other hand many people hold the pursuit of knowledge as the one true path to fulfillment in life. The dangers of the pursuit of knowledge are an underlying topic in Ishmael's discussion of brit. Ishmael describes the sea as enigmatic and immensely more dangerous than the land; in doing so reveals how attempting to study the unknown in the pursuit of knowledge is far more dangerous than remaining ignorant. In Ishmael's discussion about brit he quickly drifts off the subject of the actual brit and begins to make comparisons between the land and the sea. He states that even "though some old naturalists have maintained that all creatures if the land are of kind in the sea"(Melville 272), he has yet to see any creatures of the sea that have the same charm and kindness as domesticated pets. He reveals the inherent lack of kindness or hospitability in oceanic creatures by making this statement. He goes on to say that,"however baby man may brag if his science and skill, and however much in a fluttering future that science and skill may augment; yet forever and ever to the crack of dawn, the sea will continue to insult and murder him... man has lost that sense of the awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it."(Melville 273). This passage illustrates the core of what Ishmael is trying to describe in his argument. It reveals the horror and indomitable terror of the sea, which according to Ishmael people seem to have forgotten about and take for granted. He also belittles human's in the passage calling them "baby man" showing how powerless he believes people are compared to the sea and how no matter how much people advance they cannot compare to the sea's power. He goes on to expand on this idea stating the many ways in which the ocean's horrors hold supremacy over all others such as the sea's lack of mercy and...
...Julie K. Coleman
October 28th, 2010
MobyDickMobyDick, written by Herman Melville, was published in 1851 during a productive time in American Literature. Written during the same time as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, MobyDick has been classified as American Romanticism. Melville’s two previous novels, Typee and Omoo, were very well received and won him fans in the USA and elsewhere. MobyDick was criticized for being too long and some of the characters as being unrealistic. Now the novel is considered ahead of its time and it was not until after Melville’s death that the book began to receive recognition for its brilliance. MobyDick is now considered an epic tale.
The novel is told from the point of view of Ishmael. Ishmael is a wandering sailor that has experience in the merchant marine but has decided to join the crew of a whaling ship. He arrives in New Bedford, Massachusetts and agrees to share a bed with a stranger who isn’t present yet. His bunkmate turns out to be Queequeg. Queequeg is a heavily tattooed Polynesian harpooner with whom Ishmael quickly becomes close friends with. Together, they sail together from Nantucket, Massachusetts on a whaling voyage. Ishmael and Queequeg sign up to be part of the crew of the Peqoud whaling ship. While the captain, Ahab, of the ship is nowhere to be...
...Let me suggest that Moby-Dick is an almost totally ironic novel, perhaps a parody. Bear with me. Though anti-Transcendental, it is written in the Transcendental style. A symbolic novel, its major 'symbol' symbolizes absolutely nothing. Its heroic central figure is a character on the epic scale, whose strength overwhelms all the men who surround him; but he is blinded by his own vision, mouths the ideas of an author whom Melville thought "a humbug," and is ultimately a parody of the Transcendentalist "great man." The white whale whose image Captain Ahab pursues around the world is nothing but a whale--an occasion for the projection of symbolism but not a symbol. In any larger context the Pequod's quest means nothing and the fate of its crew little. Whatever meaning the novel has lies in the paradigm presented to us by Ahab's quest and failure--that all attempts to force meaning upon the world are futile, are indeed more than futile: they are destructive. The world exists. Physical reality is nothing more nor less than what it is. Nature has no value; it wills nothing; its relation to man is one of coexistence.
By 1850, Transcendentalism was a long-established Romantic orientation and Emerson its American spokesman. As with all nineteenth-century cultural stages Transcendentalism attempted to solve the difficulties inherent in earlier Romantic 'solutions.' So, too, does Melville try to expose the problems he felt Emerson had failed not only to...
...I just finished a great story of MobyDick, the great white whale, and the men who hunted him. My book is named Herman Melville 's MobyDick is simplified and adapted by Robert J. Dixson . The story of the journey of the whaling happooner really attracted readers .
Published in New York in the American Classics, the book consists of 19 chapters, is much less than the original. But Mr. Dixson reflected successfully what the original text to bring to the readers. The journey on the sea is still very vivid descriptions, according to an order of time . Our intrepid narrator, a former school teacher gọi Ishmael famously, signs up as sailor on a whaling voyage to cure a bout of depression . On His Way to find a ship in Nantucket, he meets Queequeg, a harpooner heavily tattooed South Sea Island whaling just trả from his latest trip . Ishmael and Queequeg trở roommates and best buds almost IMMEDIATELY . Together, They sign up for a voyage on the Pequod, Which is just about to start on a three - year expedition to hunt whale .
On board the Pequod, Ishmael meets the mates - Starbuck honest, jolly Stubb, Flask and fierce - and the other harpooners, Tashtego and Daggoo . The ship 's commander, Captain Ahab, Remains in his secluded cabin and never shows Himself to the crew . The mates organize the beginning of the voyage as though there were no captain .
Just khi Ishmael about Ahab 's curiosity has reached a...
...Contained in the text of MobyDick, Herman Melville uses many widely cultural symbols, stories and actions to tell the tale of a whaling ship bent on the desires of its captains abhorrence for a real, and also symbolic, creature in the form of an albino sperm whale named MobyDick. The time is 1851 and civil unrest is looming just over the horizon: slavery is the main point of interest in American politics, the last major novel released was The Scarlet Letter, Millard Fillmore becomes the 13th president following the untimely death of then president Zachary Taylor; the Fugitive Slave Act legally mandates all runaway slaves to be returned to their owners (regardless of what state in the union they were found); and religion is a driving force that defines both social and political actions. These among other things effected and determined the cultural climate of the United States found in MobyDick. Herman Melville uses an isolated boat analogously to create and explore a microcosm of American culture and civilization. The story of MobyDick is more than one of revenge, but an allegory of American culture and political unrest.
In American culture during 1851, slavery was the major topic. The lines were drawn in the proverbial sand, as the Civil War was just a decade away from breaking out. The Fugitive Slave Act was passed just the year prior making all...
...Captain Ahab and MobyDick:
Literary critics point to a variety of themes and juxtapositions when analyzing Herman Melville's "MobyDick". Some see the land opposed to the sea or Fate opposed to free will. Most mention man versus nature or good versus evil. A perspective that seems overlooked though is the perspective of the self and the other. The self and other is when one discovers the other (something not us) within oneself, when one realizes that one is not a single being alien to anything that is not them. There are many such relationships throughout the book, such as that of Ishmael and Queequeg and Ahab and Starbuck. However, this paper will focus on the essential relationship, which is of Ahab and Moby-Dick.
By recognizing the other within ourselves, we are saved from hating the other in itself. Captain Ahab struggled to see Moby-Dick within himself, in this began the book's main problem of the self and the other. Before I get to this problem lets track the character of Ahab's development up to that point.
Chapters early in the book describe Ahab as having lost his leg to Moby-Dick. This character development suggests that Ahab is the victim of an attack by a vicious animal. However, by chapter 36 "The Quarter Deck", Ahab is described as a man infatuated with destroying a great white whale, named...
... he is not a breathing, emotional being. However, as the book continues, it becomes blatantly obvious that Ahab hates his obsession and is greatly disturbed by the fact that he is obsessed. This self-hatred makes Ahab human because he knows that he is leading himself to his death and yet he is so possessed by his obsession that he can do nothing to stop it. Every human being can relate to this feeling, for at one point or another, everyone feels like they have lost control. Though Ahab may be an extreme example, he is simply a strong representation of a characteristic human sentiment.
This sentiment, this anxiety over lack of control is most certainly connected to his leg. By losing his leg, Ahab has lost a part of himself and seeks MobyDick to avenge this loss. He is not able to perceive that the leg is simply a physical part, he feels that by losing a part of his body he has lost a part of himself.
This frustration of being incomplete is expressed in his actions. How he acts towards his crew, for example, appears to be out of a jealously they are whole and he is not. For this reason, he feels that he must make up for it by being stronger and more powerful than they are. He tries to control the men, for if he can control them then he is greater than they are, though they are complete and he is not.
Although Ahab may overpower the men, he cannot overpower the universe, a fact which deeply perturbs him. He refuses to accept the...
...The Essence of Three
Whether it is acknowledged or not, numbers have always prevailed: as a universal language, a means for currency, and even throughout religions. In MobyDick by Herman Melville the importance of numbers is far from forgotten. Melville uses several references to the number three throughout his novel to symbolize spirituality in relation to fate.
Throughout the novel there are several uses of the number three. MobyDick begins with the short statement “Call me Ishmael,” which is a three worded sentence (Melville 3). This short three lettered sentence prepares the reader for the later—less obvious—accounts of three. Ishmael goes from three different cities before finally boarding the Pequod: New York City to New Bedford and finally to Nantucket. While in New Bedford Ishmael looks at three different inns, which are The Crossed Harpoons, The Sword-Fish, and The Spouter, in which he chooses to stay at the Spouter Inn. The next day Ishmael goes to the Whaleman’s Chapel, in which he mentions three different marble tablets that memorialize the sailors lost at sea. After New Bedford, Ishmael travels to Nantucket, where more threes yet another sequence of threes occur. Ishmael learns “that there were three ships up for three-years’ voyages—The Devil-dam, the Tit-bit, and the Pequod” (Melville 77). Of these ships, Ishmael chooses the Pequod, which has three different captains: Ahab, Peleg, and Bildad. The...
...Marital Images in Moby-Dick
Authors use symbolic elements in their writings to communicate a deeper thought or feeling in their message. In Moby-Dick, Herman Melville uses several symbols to illustrate the loving relationship, or “marriage” between Ishmael and Queequeg, such as the bedding of the men, the smoking of the pipe, and the monkey-rope. The symbolism Melville uses to create the “marriage” between Ishmael and Queequeg provides the opportunity for the hero’s maturation and as Bainard Cowan explains in his “America Between two Myths: Moby-Dick as Epic, “the marriage allows Ishmael to put away fear and misgiving and accept the path that destiny has arranged for him,” (226). Ishmael has to get out of the depression that he is in and Melville creates Queequeg as an outlet for his progression. However, Queequeg is not just a bystander in the story. Ishmael and he must have a deep love in order for Ishmael to fully change as a person and live on to be the hero. In his article “Melville’s Portrait of Same-Sex Marriage in Moby-Dick,” Steven B. Herrmann claims that a deep love within the characters must be present to fully experience the “marriage” between them. The two characters definitely have a deep love for one another and repeatedly refer to the other, in some way or another, as “wife”. Herrmann defines the marriage between Ishmael and Queequeg as a...