Moby Dick Essays

Moby Dick

Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, attacks the views of the Transcendentalists by portraying Moby Dick, the white whale, as the personification of evil. This completely opposes the Transcendentalist idea that there is only good in the...

Moby Dick

Among the numerous themes and ideas that author Herman Melville expresses in Moby Dick, one of the less examined is the superiority of the primitive man to the modern man. As an undertone running through the entire book, one can see in Moby Dick...

Moby Dick

In Fay Weldon's opinion, a good writer does not always need to conclude his story with a joyous flourish in order to satisfy his reader. "The writers, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from readers are the writers who offer...

Moby Dick

With his novel Moby-Dick, Herman Melville uses the voyages of a New England whaler as a metaphor for the expansionist society in which he was living. Completed in 1851, the novel condemns America's values during the middle of the 19th century....

Moby Dick

Captain Ahab, the fifty-eight year old commander of the Pequod, is one of the most fascinating mortals in literary history. The reader witnesses him teetering between sanity and madness, with the latter winning each slight battle and eventually...

Moby Dick

In studying the development of the early American novel, one might find it helpful to compare Ishmael's relationship with Queequeg in "Moby Dick" to Huck's relationship with Jim in "Huckleberry Finn". In each case, the "savage" actually humanizes...

Moby Dick

Melville's Political Thought in Moby-Dick

Herman Melville was heavily influenced by the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Because Rousseau died in 1778, 41 years prior to Melville's birth, Melville had access to all of Rousseau's writings....

Moby Dick

The white whale at the center of Herman Melville’s masterpiece Moby-Dick is often considered to be one of the most symbolic characters in American literature. In part, this is because not only can the white whale mean many different things to each...

Moby Dick

Chapter 33 of Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, titled “The Specksynder,” is another of those non-narrative interstitial chapters that serves to give fits to many first-time readers, but that, like the others, contains within it a symbolic and...

Moby Dick

Moby Dick ends with the unexpected death of everyone on the ship but Ishmael. Throughout the novel, the ship and its mates serve as a microcosm of the society for Melville to critique. Each character represents certain qualities and ideals that...

College

Moby Dick

“Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide wide sea!

This soul hath been

Alone on a wide wide sea:

So lonely 'twas, that God himself

Scarce seemed there to be.”

-The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

On the surface, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick suggests...

College

Moby Dick

When Herman Melville began writing Moby-Dick, he felt constrained by his financial obligations. In a letter to his close friend and fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne, Melville proclaims that “Dollars damn me” and clarifies, “What I feel most moved...

College

Moby Dick

In Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, the struggle between the Romantic, religious, and at times over-emotional intent of characters and their reasonable nature creates the complexities faced on the Pequod, the ship captained by Ahab. This competition...