Symbol and Themes Essay

Topics: Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Symbol Pages: 1 (356 words) Published: May 10, 2013
Symbols and Themes
Symbols and themes are a main priority in every authors writing. Some relating to what is going on in the present, and what went on in the past. Another way writers use symbols is expressing them through certain life situations. Also a theme is a method that helps readers understand the story that they are reading.

In Herman Melville’s story, “Moby Dick,” the symbol of Queequeg’s coffin changes in the story, at first the coffin represents death. Because when Queequeg is rolling the bones, he rolls them into a pattern that shows death is approaching him. The symbolism of the coffin switches when Queequeg changes his mind, not to die, and saves Ishmaels life. From then on the coffin symbolizes hope and new life or saving life. It starts to symbolize new life and saving life, when it acts as life raft for Ishmael when “The Pequod” sinks in the vortex.

The white whale, Moby Dick, doesn’t symbolize one thing. It depends on what character of Moby Dick that the reader is most interested in. Take it from Starbuck’s perspective, “He is just another whale, except he is more dangerous.”(SparkNotes Editors) Ahab’s interpretation of the white whale is a powerful evil that Ahab must kill to fulfill his life, and possibly be a sane person. To the passengers aboard “The Pequod,” Moby Dick could be a myth to keep the sailors mind of their tiring jobs on the ship.

Queequeg’s coffin and Moby Dick are both in relation to the theme of “The Deceptiveness of Fate.”(SparkNotes Editors) Queequeg’s coffin is in relation to this theme, because Queequeg’s fate is that death is upon him. Moby Dicks’ relation to the theme is; he is the fate that Captain Ahab’s ship is going to face later on when the white whale creates a vortex to sink it.

In conclusion, any symbol in “Moby Dick,” can be related to the many themes in this novel/film. But Queequeg’s coffin and Moby Dick stood out as important symbols to the story. Because Herman Melville brings out multiple...
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