Analysis of Herman Melville´s Moby Dick Essay examples

Analysis of Herman Melville´s Moby Dick Essay examples

Length: 832 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Herman Melville, in his renowned novel Moby-Dick, presents the tale of the determined and insanely stubborn Captain Ahab as he leads his crew, the men of the Pequod, in revenge against the white whale. A crew mixed in age and origin, and a young, logical narrator named Ishmael sail with Ahab. Cut off from the rest of society, Ahab attempts to make justice for his personal loss of a leg to Moby Dick on a previous voyage, and fights against the injustice he perceived in the overwhelming forces that surround him. Melville uses a series of gams, social interactions or simple exchanges of information between whaling ships at sea, in order to more clearly present man’s situation as he faces an existence whose meaning he cannot fully grasp. Nine encounters, literal and symbolic meetings, which increase toward the novel’s climax, can be found as the Pequod; a Nantucket whaler, hunts in the Pacific Ocean. In Herman Melville’s’ Moby Dick, the Pequod meets nine ships, as three are named the Jeroboam, the Samuel Enderby, and the Rachel are filled with biblical allusions and foreshadow the end of Ahab’s life while showing his increasing distance between him and humanity.
The captain of the Jeroboam, who tells Ahab of his first mate’s death upon attacking the white whale, is accompanied by Gabriel, an insane sailor who believes himself to be the forenamed archangel and “pronounc[es] the White Whale to be no less a being than the Shaker God incarnated” (266). Gabriel’s explanation of Moby-Dick’s power, and his worship of the white whale instead of God, provides the thinking for Melville’s choice in naming the ship the Jeroboam. Melville reminds the audience that like Ahab, the first mate of the Jeroboam sought out Moby-Dick with his harp...


... middle of paper ...


...rom humanity during the three-day-long chase for Moby-Dick, fails to kill the White Whale, a task which the Rachel, the Jeroboam, and the Samuel Enderby have attempted, though with divergent ideas of will and understanding. As determined as Ahab may be, man cannot defeat God’s overpowering plan. Ishmael, the only survivor from the Pequod’s crew, is saved by a coffin and “the devious-cruising Rachel,” as Melville reveals in the epilogue with a heading from the Book of Job (470). The very ship that Ahab refused to help due to his monomaniacal way of life; comes to the rescue and ensures that a record of the hero’s final days should be kept as both a warning to those who question God’s ways. That record, including the Biblical, symbolic gams, provides a testament to a sole battle in mans struggle, as Ahab alone challenges to face what he sees as evil in the world.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis of Herman Melville´s Moby Dick Essay examples

- ... Melville reminds the audience that like Ahab, the first mate of the Jeroboam sought out Moby-Dick with his harpoon with high hopes, but his spiritual insolence lead to Macey’s death. One evil Biblical king warns another of the costs of taking God’s doings into human hands. Herman Melville reveals the ultimate punishment that befalls on any man who attempts to rise above his limitations. This encounter ends as Gabriel, refuses to take a letter intended for the deceased first mate of the Jeroboam, which predicted that Ahab shall “soon [be] going that way” to the bottom of the sea and beyond (269)....   [tags: society, justice, humanity, allusions]

Strong Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Moby Dick by Herman Melville

- Where do you get your coffee. There are so many different coffee places around town to choose from. Of course the most well know coffee shops in New England are Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. It’s even hard for the little local coffee shops to compete with those big-named companies. I chose to evaluate Starbucks because I wanted to find out if it really worth spending the extra dollar or two on a cup of coffee. In 1971 the first Starbucks coffee shop was built in Seattle. The owner picked the name from the book Moby Dick by Herman Melville....   [tags: Firm Analysis, Community Service]

Strong Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Herman Melville's Moby Dick Essay

- Moby dick is a novel written by Herman Melville. The books takes place on the open seas, where very little happens. It has earned its status as a literary classic not by the typical presentation of a nuanced, epic plot or by devoting itself to absolute perfect portrayal of the world, but by its sheer bravado and omnipresence matched only by the god-character whom the novel takes its name from, Moby Dick. This is not to say that Moby Dick’s plot is bad by any means, it is just minimal. It is difficult to imagine, or find another book that is able to pick such good minimal elements and make so much of them....   [tags: the white whale, literary analysis]

Strong Essays
1030 words (2.9 pages)

A Whale of a Story: Moby Dick Essay

- Located in the dark, cold pages of Moby Dick lies evil, an evil by the name of mankind. Mankind snarls its teeth into the face of nature and fellow-man by character development and a thick plot. By diving into the characters and the author, the motives of these individuals is shown clearly through the murky water. Herman Melville's own motives help illuminate his reasoning behind each examples of man's traits through the book. His motives are driven towards the dark side of humanity, also known as anti-transcendental....   [tags: Herman Melville novel analysis]

Strong Essays
554 words (1.6 pages)

Moby-Dick as an Absurdist Text Essay

- Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick and Albert Camus’s idea of Absurdism share the same philosophical core. This core consists of the absurdity of the individual’s role in the quest for meaning. While Moby Dick and Camus are separated by a century’s worth of literary and cultural changes, the very same ideas present in Camus’s work are also found in Moby Dick. The readings of The Myth of Sisyphus and The Stranger,—two of Camus’s major works—are in their own facet, related to the themes of determinism and individual meaning present in Moby Dick....   [tags: Herman Melville, Analysis]

Strong Essays
899 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Biblical and Mythological Allusions in Moby Dick

- An allusion is a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art. Writers often use biblical and mythological allusions to which their readers are familiar. In Moby Dick, Herman Melville frequently uses biblical and mythological allusions. With these allusions the reader begins to understand the topic of discussion and is also exposed to the wisdom and knowledge Melville possess. The first allusion appears in the first line of the novel. “Call me Ishmael.” (Melville1)....   [tags: Moby Dick Essays]

Free Essays
614 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Relationship Between Moby Dick and Ahab's Wife

- Examining the Relationship Between Literary Works: Moby Dick and Ahab's Wife Literature changes. One story creates a niche for another story to come into existence, or be written. What is a literary niche and how exactly does an evolutionary text fill it. Who gets to decide. This question is easiest to answer by first establishing what a text cannot do: it does not fill in all the missing gaps. Moby Dick created a niche for another book to come into being: Ahab's Wife. In examining the relationship between the two books, one might say that Ahab's Wife functions in filling in all the missing pieces that Moby Dick left....   [tags: Moby Dick Essays]

Free Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

Melville shows anger at Christianity through biblical allusions in Moby Dick

- Near the beginning of Moby Dick, Father Mapple reminds Pequod sailors of the biblical prophet Jonah and his unique encounter with a whale. The whale, known as a Leviathan in the Bible, swallows Jonah because Jonah refuses to obey God's command to preach to a wicked group of people. Father Mapple in his sermon says, "If we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists" (47). Once Jonah admits his sinfulness and follows his maker, the whale frees Jonah....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
1325 words (3.8 pages)

The Scrivener Essay

- I think the events preceding the writing of “Bartleby, The Scrivener” are just as important to understanding the story as the events transpiring within the tale itself. Melville, when he wrote the short story, was coming off of two failures, Moby-Dick and Pierre, that he thought would cement his place in the literary cannon; “Bartleby” is his way of addressing this chaotic time in his life. In the tale, Melville is being brutally honest with himself and his work: addressing the concerns of his critics through the narrator, while using Bartleby to admit his own faults in failing to gain the recognition he thought he deserved....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Moby-Dick]

Strong Essays
1663 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about Herman Melville's Moby-Dick

- Herman Melville's Moby-Dick      Herman Melville began working on his epic novel Moby-Dick in 1850, writing it primarily as a report on the whaling voyages he undertook in the 1830s and early 1840s. Many critics suppose that his initial book did not contain characters such as Ahab, Starbuck, or even Moby Dick, but the summer of 1850 changed Melville’s writing and his masterpiece. He became friends with author Nathaniel Hawthorne and was greatly influenced by him. He also read Shakespeare and Milton’s Paradise Lost (Murray 41)....   [tags: Herman Melville Moby Dick Essays]

Strong Essays
1914 words (5.5 pages)