Moby Dick: Or the Whale
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Aug 18, 2011 - 464 pages
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, written by American author Herman Melville and first published in 1851, is widely considered to be a Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that on this voyage Ahab has one purpose, to seek out a specific whale: Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge.In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the main character's journey, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God are all examined as Ishmael speculates upon his personal beliefs and his place in the universe. The narrator's reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor's life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices, such as stage directions, extended soliloquies, and asides. The book portrays destructive obsession and monomania, as well as the assumption of anthropomorphism; projecting human instincts, characteristics and motivations onto animals. Moby-Dick is ruthless in attacking the sailors who attempt to hunt and kill him, but it is Ahab who invests Moby-Dick's natural instincts with malign and evil intent. In fact it is not the whale, but the crippled Ahab who alone possesses this characteristic.