Moby Dick: Enigma

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Moby-Dick, Sperm whale, Queequeg
  • Pages : 2 (804 words )
  • Download(s) : 283
  • Published : January 27, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Mr. Greer
American Lit.Jim Hatton
Topic #211/6/2012

Moby Dick is an enigma. Some whalers, like many aboard the Pequod, believe he is an immortal being with god-like qualities. Other whalers believe he is a tangible albino sperm whale. Moby Dick is the source of all that is evil for Ahab, and an impediment of a whaling voyage to those like Starbuck. There is vast variability of character perceptions, and particular beliefs or lack thereof that imbue Moby Dick with his power, which make him tremendously inscrutable. Many Whalers encountered in Moby Dick have differing opinions on the whale. Some whalers, as Ishmael describes, observe Moby Dick as perpetual. “It cannot be much of a matter of surprise that some whalemen should go still further in their superstitions; declaring Moby Dick not only ubiquitous, but immortal.” (p. 155) There are many among the whaling community that put Moby Dick on a divine pedestal. The see him as a whale demi-god, who is everywhere at all times and cannot be killed. This is true for those such as “Gabriel” who warns that anyone who tries to hunt Moby Dick will face certain doom, such as his old chief mate Macey, who is individually killed by the whale. There are other whalers, such as the Captain of the Bachelor, who hear of the great White Whale, but do not believe he exists. The Bachelor disregards him, and thus receives a successful whaling voyage and a party on board. Moby Dick is, however, a very real whale, who causes the demise of many whalers throughout the world, such as those among the Rachel, who simply try to hunt the whale and end up with a lost whaling boat. The whaling community provides Moby Dick with his power. He is a god to the speculative, a myth to the practical, and a natural force to others. The members of the Pequod have many different views over what the White Whale is. Starbuck sees Moby Dick as an obstruction of a perfectly good whaling voyage. “I am game for his crooked jaw,...
tracking img