Herman Melville’s stories of Moby Dick and Bartleby share a stark number of similarities and differences. Certain aspects of each piece seem to compliment each other, giving the reader insight to the underlying themes and images. There are three concepts that pervade the two stories making them build upon each other. In both Moby Dick and Bartleby the main characters must learn how to deal with an antagonist, decide how involved they are in their professions, and come to terms with a lack of resolution.
Ahab is dedicated towards regaining control of his life by conquering the whale. His obsession with Moby Dick is what fuels his desire to spend months and months at sea. Ahab is so involved that he tries to get into the mind of the whale. He becomes obsessed with the whale’s every move. Similarly, the narrator is highly analytical of Bartleby’s behavior. He feels the need to know exactly what it is that makes Bartleby ‘tick’. Eventually the narrator is mentally defeated by Bartleby and is forced to change the location of his offices in order to avoid him. Ahab on the other hand is constantly chasing his antagonist and does whatever he can to get closer to Moby Dick.
The amount of involvement in one’s profession is another important theme in the two stories. Ahab takes his job as a whaler quite seriously. He is obsessed by the desire to destroy the whale that shattered his life. In contrast, the narrat...
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- The Duality of Man in Moby Dick In Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick, every character is a symbol of the good and evil sides of humanity. However, none of the characters represent pure evil or pure goodness. Even Melville’s description of Ahab, whom he repeatedly refers to monomaniacal, which suggests he is driven insane by one goal, is given a chance to be seen as a frail, sympathetic character. Ishmael represents the character with the most good out of the crew, though his survival is unclear because he never had a direct adversary to overcome. He has his moments when evil thoughts pervade his mind. The unclearness of morals in the universe is prevalent throughout Herman... [tags: Moby Dick Essays]
1296 words (3.7 pages)
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- Metaphysical Ideologies in Moby Dick At first glance, Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, appears to be the story of a man, his captain, and the whale that they quest to destroy. But a closer look reveals the author’s intense look at several metaphysical ideologies. He explores some of the most ponderous quandaries of his time, among these being the existence of evil, knowledge of the self and the existential, and the possibility of a determined fate. All of these were questions which philosophers had dealt with and written about, but Melville took it to a new level: not only writing about these things, but also doing so in a lovely poetic language backed by a tale packed with intrigue... [tags: Moby Dick Essays]
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