The story may have been suggested by Melville's mutiny and escape from the Lucy Ann. Having accepted his leadership, however, they followed his orders. Ahab seems to be largely devoid of racial prejudice, and in actuality shows more much affinity with the harpooners, upon whom he has to rely, than anyone else. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner, paperback, pages. In trying to be encyclopedic, he frequently scratched out or covered up what he had written before.
In this sense, the pulpit represents the proper position for a ship's captain, performing his duty in leading his congregation toward an understanding of performing God's will. Frequently belittled, Moby-Dick, as a novel is too long, the narrative is meager, the story is overlain with ambiguous symbols, the realism of the characters is doubtful, and the descriptions of the history, biology and mythology of the whale are seemingly nonessential. After returning, he taught briefly in Greenbush, New York, and, looking for work, in the summer of , he visited an uncle at Gallena, Illinois. Its reading public had little time or patience for doubts and looked to England rather than to their own country for cultural leadership. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.
Guide to the classics: Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville
The simpler aspects of Moby-Dick the straight narrative, precise description, sharp detail conformed to the reporting technique of the sea novels Redburn and White Jacket. Now a new one has emerged. Melville's religious views were rooted in dualistic assumptions. He threw away the ship's quadrant in foolish disdain of the aid of the sun. Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? He wanted his readers to take the facts about whales and the symbolism surrounding them seriously so they could open up vistas as deep and as terrifying as those the members of the Pequod's crew were to discover. After returning, he taught briefly in Greenbush, New York, and, looking for work, in the summer of , he visited an uncle at Gallena, Illinois.
T he sea monster to end all sea monsters: The chief catalysts for Moby-Dick were William Shakespeare, whose works Melville had begun to read in a collected edition in , and Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose Mosses from an Old Manse Melville reviewed in There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. Nineteenth-century America was provincial and illiterate. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Wickliff's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over.