A Critical Analysis of Herman Melville's Moby Dick

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A Critical Analysis of Herman Melville's Moby Dick

"Moby Dick is biographic of Melville in the sense that it discloses every nook and cranny of his imagination." (Humford 41) This paper is a psychological study of Moby Dick. Moby Dick was written out of Melville's person experiences.

Moby Dick is a story of the adventures a person named Ishmael. Ishmael is a lonely, alienated individual who wants to see the "watery part of the world." Moby Dick begins with the main character, Ishmael, introducing himself with the line "Call Me Ishmael." (Melville 1) Ishmael tells the reader about his background and creates a depressed mood for the reader. Call me Ishmael. "Some years ago-nevermind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world." (Melville 1) Ishmael tells the reader about his journeys through various towns such as New Bedford, Nankantuket. Eventually while in Nankantuket, Ishmael signed up for a whaling voyage on the Pequod. The Pequod was the whaling boat Ishmael sailed on where such characters as Queequeq, Starbuck, and the captain of the ship, Ahab, all journeyed together.

Not long once at sea, the captain of the ship, Ahab reveals his plan to hunt down a white whale named Moby Dick. Ahab was veteran sailor, a man that had a heart of stone. Ahab had a personal grudge against Moby Dick. Moby Dick was responsible for taking off Ahab's leg in a previous voyage. Ahab's plan was essentially an unauthorized takeover, what the whaling company had not in mind. Ahab was very irrational and ludicrous; his plan seals the fate for himself and the crew of the Pequod. In the tragic ending of Moby Dick, all of the characters die except for Ishmael. Ishmael survived Moby Dick's attack of the ship with the help of a coffin that his close friend Queequeq built. Ishmael of Moby Dick was a special character because he closely relates to the author's own life. There are many symbolism's between Ishmael of Moby Dick and Herman Melville's own life. The name Ishmael can be traced back to the Bible. The Biblical story of Ishamel is one of a rejected outcast. This "rejected outcast" can be linked to Ishmael of Moby Dick and Herman Melville's own life. In Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Ishmael is symbolic of the author's own life.

Herman Melville's childhood played an important part in his life. Herman Melville's childhood is evident throughout his writings. Herman Melville's childhood was an unconventional one. There were many twists and turns that Herman experienced. Melville was born on August 1, 1819, in New York City, the third of eight children. His mother's family the Gansevoorts of Albany were Dutch brewers who settled in Albany in the seventeenth century achieving the status of landed gentry. "The Gansevoorts were solid, stable, eminent, prosperous people; the (Herman's Father's side) Melvilles were somewhat less successful materially, possessing an unpredictable. erratic, mercurial strain." (Edinger 6) This difference between the Melville's and Gansevoorts was the beginning of the trouble for the Melville family. Herman's mother tried to work her way up the social ladder by moving into bigger and better homes. While borrowing money from the bank, her husband was spending more than he was earning. "It is my conclusion that Maria Melville never committed herself emotionally to her husband, but remained primarily attached to the well off Gansevoort family." (Humford 23) Allan Melville was also attached financially to the Gansevoorts for support. There is a lot of evidence concerning Melville's relation to his mother Maria Melville. "Apparently the older son Gansevoort who carried the mother's maiden name was distinctly her favorite." (Edinger 7) This was a sense of alienation the Herman Melville felt from his mother. This was one of the first symbolists to the...
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