Ahab gives speeches to his crew about the whale, and even offers a reward to the crewman who first spots the white whale, but for the majority of the novel his anger seems well deserved and killing Moby Dick seems more like justice than revenge. He can be read as a mash-up of about a zillion different tragic heroes. While Sweeney endorses Olson's identification, he finds exaggerated the claim that Ahab learns from his cabin-boy just as Lear does from the Fool. In Ovid's mythical tale, Narcissus has an airy counterpart in the speech-deprived nymph Echo, who can only repeat the sounds she hears. To that extent, the stigma of Moby-Dick was created, to some degree, by Captain Ahab. He is killed by his own harpoon, a victim of his own twisted obsession and desire for revenge. In addition to this, blindness is alluded to.
Who's afraid of him, except the old governor who daresn't catch him and put him in double-darbies, as he deserves. When discussing the purpose of his quest with Starbuck, it is revealed that he first began whaling at 18 and has continued in the trade for 40 years making him 58 years of age and having spent less than 3 years on land. Starbuck ultimately gives in and helps his captain — most people do not rise up against their authority but, ultimately, believe in its goodness. In Moby Dick , characters are rarely on the far ends of the moral spectrum. We see a different side of Ahab the day before the Pequod's first encounter with the White Whale. The foreigner comes in when the conscious of my difference arises, and he disappears when all acknowledge ourselves as foreigners. It is this sameness that is problematic.
But it's not just ol' Lear that Ahab is emulating. In addition to the compelling character of Captain Ahab and his quest, the wide variety of literary techniques used by Melville to write this novel has guaranteed its position as a literary classic. During the 1950s and 1960s literary scholars shifted their attention to narrative technique and point of view, which for Melville studies meant that the spotlight switched from Ahab to Ishmael. Use this topic or have Paper Masters custom write a research paper, exactly how you need it to be on Moby Dick. But Ahab still pays no heed to Starbuck. The name Ishmael could be seen as an allusion to the character from the Old Testament. These prophesies, accurate as they may be, deceive Ahab, who perceives them to be an assurance of victory.
Most famously, he provided J. Science and Health became successful in many countries and the membership of the Church began to grow rapidly. Science and Health became successful in many countries and the membership of the Church began to grow rapidly. Yes, that's what we're telling you. Both Ahabs are shrewd in their secular associations.
Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, G. There are many such relationships throughout the book, such as that of Ishmael and Queequeg, along with Christians and pagans and Ahab and Starbuck, but this paper will focus on the central relationship, namely, Ahab and Moby-Dick. Without effort an entire anthology of this material caricature, gag cartoons, editorial cartoons could be assembled. First, the themes of Moby-Dick are timeless: revenge, madness, loss, death, and friendship, just to name a few. Ahab's intrepid approach is somewhat courageous, but still incredibly deranged. In fact, Captain Ahab and Moby Dick have become synonymous with the idea of obsession; you might hear someone say something like, 'oh, that's his white whale,' which usually means that it is the object of someone's obsession. Time and again, the White Whale out-maneuvers the crew of the Pequod, once even using the lines of the harpoons, which the men have lodged in the whale, to whiplash and smash their boats.
He does almost nothing important in the book — except to survive the sinking of the Pequod. The reader witnesses him teetering between sanity and madness, with the latter winning each slight battle and eventually conquering his entire mind, body, and spirit. Again, Melville shows that Ahab is totally consumed, but that Moby-Dick is also a ruthless beast, as Enderby lost an arm to him. What tune do you pull to in pursuit? He is an emotional and intelligent young man. A cluster of dark nods replied, Yes. He knows he is in too deep this time and that he will die in pursuit of the whale, but he will not stop because his quest has been boiled down to a single, driving need to hurt the whale as much as he can, even if it costs him his life. In Moby Dick, Ishmael enjoyed a divine intervention of sorts by being the only crew member to survive the final confrontation with the whale.
The words with which Ishmael and Starbuck portray him—infidel, impious, diabolic, blasphemous—describe him as a towering rebel. Lesson Summary Captain Ahab's relationship to the White Whale in Moby-Dick is a one-sided obsession, including Ahab's tendency to anthropomorphize the whale. We learn early on that an equally legendary White Whale has bitten off one of the captain's legs. Like the figure behind the mask of the White Whale, the force behind Ahab's motivation is also an inscrutable, dominating master. Starbuck was an important Quaker family name on , and there were several actual whalemen of this period named , as evidenced by the name of in the whaling grounds.
Yates A new book from Monthly Review Press Session 1: Thursday, February 7, 5:30 to 7:15 A discussion with author Michael D. How to Write a Research Paper on Character Analysis in Moby Dick This page is designed to show you how to write a research project on the topic you see to the left. Previously maimed in an encounter with Moby Dick, he is obsessed with killing the whale. For instance, allusions to Oedipus, which flesh out Ahab's ignorance and lack of self-knowledge, are complemented by references to , which evoke the psychological causes for his own ignorance. The captain's final defeat seems inevitable. He is a hero, whose actions are surrounded by the symbolic magnificence and whose fight with the white whale becomes a fight against the dark and terrible forces of nature.
He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it. This quote shows exactly how much Captain Ahab personally hates Moby-Dick. Instead of embarking on a regular whaling voyage, Ahab declares he is out for revenge and nails a on the mast by way of reward for the crewmember who first sights Moby Dick, the white whale. These differences between reality and imagination will serve as tools to answer the central question, just as the foundation on which the ethics of Christian Science were created will also. Indeed, the mates sit before him as if they were little children. When Moby Dick is finally sighted, Ahab's hatred robs him of all caution, and the whale drags Ahab to the bottom of the sea. Many racists, sexists and those who cannot tolerate homosexuality do not always abide by the norms of the system.