Moby Dick Essay

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Moby Dick Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 493

  • Pages: 2

Moby Dick

In this video, we immediately learn of an obsessed captain who wants revenge. Why does he want revenge and against whom or what? He wants revenge against a white whale for taking his leg. 2.Who is the narrator of Moby Dick and what is the first line of the novel? Ishmael narrates the novel. 3.There are two significant Biblical allusions[->0] mentioned in the film. To whom do these allusions reference? How are the names significant? the name Ahab describes a king who turns vile. This suggesting that the Ahab of this novel will be a similarly conflicted leader. Also Ishmael shows independence and shows that he just wants to take care of himself. 4.The narrator states that Moby Dick symbolizes three different meanings for three different characters. List the characters and the meaning which Moby Dick symbolizes for each of them.

Ahab sees Moby Dick as an evil thing. Ishmael sees Moby Dick as just a fish and an evil thing. while Starbuck sees Moby Dick as just a fish 5.Why did Melville choose to write about whaling? Why was the industry significant? He choses to write about whaling because he himself was in the industry. The industry gives light to the world because of the oil from the blubber. 6.What did Melville do when he was 21? He went to sea for whaling for about a year and a half. 7.What established writer did Melville befriend while he was writing Moby Dick? Melville befriended Nathaniel Hawthorne.

8.Comment on the four harpooners of the Pequod; politically, why were they significant? Queequeg’s dad was a king, Tashtego was an Indian, Dagoo was a African American, and Fedallah was a Farsi or Parsee. They were significant because they have already been to sea and they all want to live a life of adventure, not to mention it is bringing many cultures together for a common cause. 9.What happens to the Pequod towards the end of the book? Ahab? Ishmael? The boat was destroyed by Moby Dick, Ahab was killed by Moby Dick, and Ishmael was found by a whale ship after being washed out to sea. 10.What were the final years of Melville like? He became an employee of the customs house.

New York Times

Why do you think Ahab wanted to kill Moby Dick so bad?

Why do you think that the captain hired so many different types of people from different cultures? Why do you think that you survived when Ahab didn’t? Why was Moby Dick gunning for Ahab? How was it possible for the ship to be destroyed by a whale?

[->0] – http://learn.flvs.net/webdav/educator_eng3_v13/module3/lesmod03/glossary_3.htm?#allusion

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Moby Dick Essay

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Moby Dick Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 430

  • Pages: 2

Moby Dick

Questions 1.The captain, Ahab wants revenge against the great white whale Moby Dick because he lost his leg to the whale. 2.Ishmael is the narrator. The first line is “Call me Ishmael.” 3.The two allusions are the names of Captain ahab and Ishmael. Referring to Captain Ahab: Ahab is a wicked king who goes against goes against God’s will, Like how captain Ahab goes against the white whale. Referring to Ishmael: Ishmael means “outcast” or “wanderer” like how he seams to be the only person who cares anything of the beauty of nature. 4.To Captain Ahab he all that is evil in the universe. To Starbuck, he is just an animal to be killed for oil. To Ishmael, he is nature and all it’s wonder, both beautiful and terrifing.

5.Melville wrote about whaling to create a cosmic allegory to show the unglamorous a whaling, he had a deep respect for nature and wanted to expose it. The industry was significant because it provided oil for lanterns, streetlamps, and machinery and was the main oil used. 6.Melville set sail for the south pacific when he was 21. 7.Melville befriended Nathaniel Hawthorne while writing Moby Dick. 8.The four harpooners represented different races and ethnic groups of the world bringing the Pequod to be like a symbol for the ship of state, a little democracy. 9.The Pequod is attacked by moby dick and is destroyed. Ahab was caught and shot out of the boat and vanished into the sea.

Finally, Ishmael becomes the only survivor of the pequod, he floats around until he is rescued and picked up by another ship, The Rachel. 10.He was unemployed, desperately broke, and took a job as a customs inspector. He was forgotten by the public.Interview Questions to Ahab 1. What exactly did you do on the ship other than plot the death of Moby-Dick?

2. How did you keep up hope that you were actually going to encounter Moby-Dick again?3. How did you recognize and tell Moby Dick apart from all the the other whales in the world?4. Have you wanted to be the captain of a whaling ship your entire life? If not what profession did you aspire before?5. Avoiding sailor colloquial verbiage, can you describe the night of the incident with Moby Dick? Also, do you recommend anyone who is good at making ivory legs if this were to happen to anyone in the future?

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Moby Dick Essay

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Moby Dick Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 949

  • Pages: 4

Moby Dick

Melville’s Moby Dick is widely recognized as one of the most complex and brilliant allegorical novels in American literature. As an allegory, the events, places, people and conflicts depicted in the novel represent not only the obvious surface-level elements of the novel, but stand as indications of the novel’s philosophical and metaphysical themes. The allegory of Moby Dick involves an examination into the nature of reality and also into the nature of good and evil, as defined for Melville partially by America’s Puritan heritage.

Melville wanted to portray the essence of evil in a symbol, which was the whale, Moby Dick. When Ahab says “All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks,” (Melville) he is echoing the allegorical construction of the novel in which each thing, such as the whale, Moby Dick, is merely a “pasteboard mask” (Melville) which hides the true essence beneath, an “unknown but still reasoning thing” (Melville) which “puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask” (Melville).

For Ahab, the white whale is the mask which disguises truth and the revelation of the nature of reality. In this sense, the white whale becomes a symbol for whatever it is that holds mankind back from the perception of absolute reality. Ahab emphatically reveals his Platonic beliefs when he says “If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me.

Sometimes I think there`s naught beyond. ” (Melville) In this sense, the whale represents oblivion, the “naught beyond” which in Ahab’s mind is plainly associated with death. It is toward the heart of the nature of reality that Ahab strikes with his blood-sealed harpoon, not merely a fish in the ocean. For Ahab the white whale represented both ultimate reality and the wall which separates man from ultimate reality.

Ahab’s view of nature and reality is that the visible world and all of the events, people, and actions in it are indicators of deeper, more profound, metaphysical ideas and experiences: when he hunts the white whale which represents evil and oblivion, he is hunting the absolute nature of evil, not merely one of its beasts. The intense hate that Ahab feels for the white whale helps to distinguish Ahab’s view of reality as presented in the novel form the vision of reality Melvile was trying to establish by way of the allegory of the novel.

While Ahab believes the white whale to be the symbol of evil, Melville’s depiction of evil through the allegorical structure of Moby Dick is shown, ironically, through Ahab himself and not through the symbol of the whale. Instead, for Melville, the whale symbol indicated the cosmic universe and was exhaustively related through his use of cetological detail and science. In this way, Ahab’s obsession and hate are shown to be a tragic flaw along the lines of some of Shakespeare’s heroes, after whom Ahab’s dialogue explaining his motives for hunting Moby Dick are clearly derived.

As Ishmael gains a closer, more intimate apprehension of whales, the development of his character and spiritual insight are correspondingly elevated. The more detailed are the cetological experiences and catalogues, the more wholly expressive and self-possessed and sure becomes Ishmael. Still deeper correspondences between the cetological material and Melville’s narrative form are established in Ishmael’s descriptions of the whales “blubber” and “skin” which he posits as being indistinguishable.

This is reflected in the narrative structure of “Moby Dick” where it is equally as difficult to apprehend where the “skin” (overt theme and storyline) of the novel ends and the “blubber” (cetological and whaling discourses and catalogues) begin. Melville makes it perfectly clear that the “blubber” is an as indispensable part of his novel as it is for the whale’s body. “For the whale is indeed wrapt up in his blubber as in a real blanket or counterpane; or, still better, an Indian poncho slipt over his head;” (Melville) therefore, too, is the expository material, the “blubber” of the novel wrapped around its central, allegorical aspects.

The detailed cetological aspects of “Moby Dick” may, indeed, prevent the reader from an easy, and immediate grasp of the novel’s “meaning” or even its astounding climax. Just as the whale’s hump is believed by Ishmael to conceal the whale’s “true brain” while the more easily accessed “brain” know to whalers is merely a know of nerves, the secret “core” of “Moby Dick” can only be pursued with patience and close, deep “cutting”due to the organic and harmonious nature of its narrative form.

By keeping in mind the previously discussed aspects of the relationship between “Moby Dick’s” comprehensive cetological materials and their symbolic relationship to the novel itself, its form and themes, Ishmael, while discoursing on the desirability of whale meat as fit food for humans, offers an ironic gesture toward the novel’s probable audiences. “But what further depreciates the whale as a civilized dish, is his exceeding richness. He is the great prize ox of the sea, too fat to be delicately good” (Melville).

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