Herman Melville's Moby Dick Essay

Herman Melville's Moby Dick Essay

Length: 1030 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. The novel reaches out to all regions of intellect and occupies them in a way that very few have come close to completing since.
Ishmael, a fact announced in one of literatures most famous first lines, narrates the novel. He is a man of crude personal history who enlists for a whaling voyage. He does this for many reasons, many which are delineated for us in the book’s first chapter. In summary what he is hoping for, what he is looking for is some harsh relaxation, an ability to forget the madness of his land locked America. What he finds is Captain Ahab.
Most of the memorable literary protagonists desire what is impossible. Don Quixote wants the world to be something greater than what it is, and his incessant insistence on his personal truth makes him, in turn, hilariously pathetic. Ichabod Crain strives for love and money but is driven off in fear of the Headless Horseman. Rarely are literary protagonists as aggressive in their pursuits as Captain Ahab is in his. The White Whale Moby-Dick, a beast who is said to be omnipotent, took Captain Ahab’s leg. This makes it unnaturally difficult to exact any meaningful revenge. Ahab ...


... middle of paper ...


...ted by the sinking Pequod and pulled under to their deaths.
Ishmael, who was thrown from a boat at the beginning of the chase, was far enough away to escape the whirlpool, and he alone survives. He floats atop a coffin, which popped back up from the wreck, until he is picked up by the Rachel, which is still searching for the crewmen lost in her earlier encounter with Moby Dick.
Moby Dick is all that and a strong plot too. It is one of the rare complete books; a book about everything, costumed as an oppressively fixed on one thing, while staying beautifully rendered and at times bracingly bold. A warning to readers, give the first chapter a try but, if it is not to your taste, you may vary well succeed in what Ahab miserably failed, in turning back from everything overwhelming epitomized by both the great White Whale and Melville’s Moby Dick.


Works Cited



Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Analysis Of ' Moby Dick ' By Herman Melville

- "Moby Dick" is a novel written by Herman Melville that was published in 1851, and has since become known as a brilliant work of American literature. The story has characters that are complex and thought-provoking, a few of the interesting characters are: Fedallah, Pip and Ahab. The story revolves around Ahab and his desire to kill Moby Dick, but Fedallah and Pip are significant as well. Both, Fedallah and Pip may be seen as two representations of Ahab 's character. In order to fully grasp how Fedallah and Pip relate to Ahab, an analysis of both characters would be helpful....   [tags: Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Boy, Pequod]

Strong Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Herman Melville 's Moby Dick

- At the conclusion of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and after three days of chasing the whale, the flag atop the Pequod’s main mast had become weathered and torn. Ahab instructs Tashtego to mount a new flag on the main mast and the Indian from Gay Head Massachusetts promptly complies. Tashtego’s compliance to his captain’s order is so diligent that even after the whale has struck the mortal blow against the ship, Tashetego continues to hammer in the flag as he and the mast sink into the sea (Melville 531, 535)....   [tags: Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Allegory]

Strong Essays
946 words (2.7 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)

Moby Dick, By Herman Melville Essay

- Moby Dick, by Herman Melville was published in 1851; the novel is about the narrator, Ishmael and his experience on the whaling ship named The Pequod. Ishmael 's development as a hero can be aligned with Joseph Campbell 's Hero 's Journey. There are twelve stages, each will be discussed in terms of how it relates to Ishmael in the American novel Moby Dick. The twelve stages are as follows: ordinary World, call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting the mentor, crossing the threshold, tests, allies and enemies, approach to the inmost cave, ordeal, reward, the road back, resurrection, and return with the elixir....   [tags: Moby-Dick, Queequeg, Whaling, Pequod]

Strong Essays
1015 words (2.9 pages)

Moby Dick, By Herman Melville Essay

- In Herman Melville’s world-renowned tale, Moby Dick, the crew aboard the Pequod sail the seas in order to hunt, capture, and kill a mysteriously terrifying sperm whale named “Moby Dick”. For centuries, humans have used technological advances to protect their elite status in the animal kingdom, at the unfortunate expense of species ignorantly perceived as being too weak or unintelligent to fight back. Moby Dick illuminates one of the most historically cruel instances of selfishly-oriented, industrial engineering: whaling and hunting animals for sport....   [tags: Moby-Dick, Sperm whale, Whale, Cetacea]

Strong Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Moby Dick, By Herman Melville

- In Herman Melville’s world-renowned tale, Moby Dick, the crew aboard the Pequod sail the seas in order to hunt, capture, and kill a mysteriously terrifying sperm whale named “Moby Dick”. For centuries, humans have used technological advances to protect their elite status in the animal kingdom, at the unfortunate expense of species ignorantly perceived as being too weak or unintelligent to fight back. Moby Dick illuminates one of the most historically cruel instances of selfishly-oriented, industrial engineering: whaling and hunting animals for sport....   [tags: Moby-Dick, Sperm whale, Cetacea, Mammal]

Strong Essays
708 words (2 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

- Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" In Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, a recurring theme of death is seen throughout the book. A coffin appears at the beginning of the book and at the end of the book, Ishmael sees a large oil painting that foreshadows and represents many things and events that follow in the book, and Fedallah makes a prophecy talking about hearses and predicts Ahab’s death. Ishmael stays at The Sprouter-Inn, whose proprietor was a man named Peter Coffin. In the end, Ishmael clings to a coffin for over a day until rescued by another boat....   [tags: Moby Dick Melville Death Essays]

Strong Essays
679 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on An Analysis of Herman Melville and Moby Dick

- An Analysis of Herman Melville and Moby Dick        "Moby Dick is biographic of Melville in the sense that it discloses every nook and cranny of his imagination." (Humford 41) This paper is a psychological study of Moby Dick.  Moby Dick was written out of Melville's personal experiences.         Moby Dick is a story of the adventures a person named Ishmael.  Ishmael is a lonely, alienated individual who wants to see the "watery part of the world."  Moby Dick begins with the main character, Ishmael, introducing himself with the line "Call Me Ishmael." (Melville 1)  Ishmael tells the reader about his background and creates a depressed mood for the reader....   [tags: Moby Dick Essays]

Free Essays
2248 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on Moby Dick by Herman Melville

- In the novel Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, a microcosm lives in the Pequod. Throughout the story, the microcosm is apparent in the control and superiority of Captain Ahab, friendship, religion, and the struggles of good and evil. The Pequod symbolizes the views, actions, thoughts, and the various types of people in the world. Ahab’s power and authority show that he is the leader in this small world. He conjures allegiance and fear out of the crew. Dagoo, Tashtego, and Queequeg are the minorities on the ship(for obvious reasons) and represent the minorities of the world....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
658 words (1.9 pages)