Religion in Moby Dick

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Religion in Moby Dick "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the Earth, the Earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." Such was the beginning of creation. Creation continued with the sky and the waters, the Earth and the vegetation, the lights and the animals, and on the sixth day God created man. "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…. So God created humankind in his image." God created Adam. It was Adam who had the first human relation with God. God "put him in the garden of Eden to till and keep it. And the lord God commanded the man, 'you may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.'" This simple command was not to be obeyed, and Adam, Eve and subsequent humanity was banished from Eden. This first encounter with God serves to identify the trouble that man has with obeying God and ignoring ones self. Even in a simple time with no worries at all, it was impossible for Adam to resist the self and obey God. Throughout the novel Moby Dick Melville addresses the relationship between man and the Judeo-Christian God. Melville demonstrates many of the shortcomings of western religion and its in ability to reconcile the benefits of the darker side of humanity. Ishmael, through his journeys finds himself in the midst of several situations that exemplify this dichotomy between the ideal relationship with the Judeo-Christian God and the practical nature in which man typically relates to God. Ishmael's first encounter with ... ... middle of paper ... ...o overwhelmed by his moral and religions convictions, a rational man would have been able to act in a manner that would have saved the ship, and thus proved less destructive than the passive, pious mindset of Starbuck. Starbucks lack of action stemmed from his blind reliance on a higher power to solve his problems. Rather than finding a balance in which he could have weighed both practical rational along with Judeo-Christian teachings, he relied too much on a God who did not show his face. By looking at these examples from the novel it is easy to see some of the limitations of Judeo-Christian thought. While in no means does it completely invalidate any of the ideas of western religion it does force one to question the blind validity in which some people purse it, and at what cost are they pursuing their spiritual self. Bibliography:

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