Moby Dick - Loomings

Topics: Ocean, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick Pages: 1 (335 words) Published: March 12, 2013
In the novel, Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville, the main character, Ishmael, carries a passionate tone toward the water. To begin with, Ishmael says that, “whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul… then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can” (Melville 27). This portrays that the ocean calms him in ways that being on land can’t. When he needs to escape his everyday life, he methodically results to sailing. Also, Ishmael asks himself if, “Niagra [were] but a cataract of the sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it?” (Melville 29). This suggests that he thinks highly of the element of water. Thus, he references Niagra falls because people travel from around the world to catch a glimpse of it. Ishmael wonders if, “upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now of sight and land?” (Melville 29). This demonstrates that the ocean brings out feelings and emotions in Ishmael that would otherwise be left untouched. When he is on land like everybody else, he feels no different than those around him. However, on a ship, Ishmael believes he is living out his purpose. He also mentions that when one is a sailor, “It touches one’s sense of honour” (Melville 30). Ishmael strongly believes that being a sailor is of the highest and upmost regard. He feels extremely honored to call himself one. Lastly, he remarks that, “in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern” (Melville 31). This symbolizes that Ishmael prefers being surrounded by the ocean rather than by people. Winds at sea are known to be far more ferocious than that on land, yet Ishmael says that he prefers it. He feels a sense of freedom on the ship, surrounded by water, than he would on land. As you can see, Ishmael’s tone is passionate toward the water.
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