AHAB in moby dick

analytical Essay
985 words
985 words

Although Ahab’s insanity appears to be what shuts him off from humanity, in reality it is what makes him human. Ahab desperately wants to be freed from his obsession – to not have to rely upon it to feel. It is because Ahab is no longer in control of his obsession that the reader eventually discovers that besides what the book originally seems to insinuate, Ahab is only human.
The first few times that Ahab is introduced to the reader and to his crew, he appears to be inhuman. Even his description when he first appears on deck states that he “seemed made of solid bronze” (Melville 117). To compare him to a statue is to distance him from humanity – 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 Moby Dick to avenge this loss. He is not able to perceive that the leg is simply a physical part, he...

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how ahab's insanity shuts him off from humanity, but in reality it is what makes him human.
  • Analyzes how ahab's inhuman nature makes him an extreme example of a characteristic human sentiment.
  • Analyzes how ahab loses his leg and seeks moby dick to avenge this loss.
  • Analyzes how the man's frustration of being incomplete is expressed in his actions. he feels that he must make up for it by being stronger and more powerful than them.
  • Analyzes how ahab refuses to accept the infinite, instead choosing to challenge it. he lashes out against universal objects and is completely blasphemous.
  • Analyzes how ahab's blasphemous behavior is a major aspect of his insanity, and it also connects him to his biblical counterpart.
  • Analyzes how ahab threatens god because he doesn't want to depend on anyone other than himself. this necessity for self-sufficiency becomes a major theme throughout the book.
  • Analyzes how his refusal to rely on anything creates his frustration over his leg. he cannot destroy it, nor can he free himself from it.
  • Analyzes how ahab shows his strength through his madness. his insanity is strong enough to overtake him and his revenge, coupled with his genius, makes him a formidable man.
  • Analyzes how ahab's indiscretion makes him a fascination to the reader because he is freed from typical restraints.
  • Analyzes how ahab's insanity is hard to understand because it is caused by contradicting factors. he is insane because he chooses to be and doesn't have a choice.
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