Analysis of Ahab in Moby Dick

Pages: 1 (381 words) Published: June 22, 2013
• Ahab

1. Dictator: Melville describes Ahab as a dictator. He, as the captain, is the most respectful figure in the Pequod. Some critics say that the novel is a metaphor from the world. Everyone depends of one person. It is a political point of view. The Pequod is seen as a small world. He is a "grand, ungodly, god-like" man. Ahab is ungodly in that he refuses to submit to any higher power. He does not worship or even acknowledge the superiority of forces beyond himself. Ahab is god-like in that he is larger than life.

2. Obsession: Ahab considers Moby Dick the embodiment of evil in the world, and he pursues the White Whale monomaniacally because he believes it his inescapable fate to destroy this evil. He is obsessed with revenge. Moby Dick dominates the personality of Ahab. He gradually goes crazier and crazier, eventually blaming Moby Dick for everything bad that has ever happened to any human being ever since the beginning of time. Melville describes Ahab as a "monomaniac," an interesting word because it suggests two things: first, that Ahab’s insanity focuses itself obsessively on a single thing (Moby Dick), and second, that he’s only insane when it comes to that one thing – he can be rational about just about everyone else.

3. Suffering: Ahab believes that his suffering stems from the White Whale known as Moby Dick. . He lost more than leg the first time he fought against Moby Dick: he lost his pride, his free will, and his very being. His sole purpose after this encounter was to kill Moby-Dick, all else was cast aside. His wife, home, friends, and family do not even cross his mind. Ahab basically spends his life alone in the sea. He feels in home when he is in the ocean. He is always looking for Moby Dick, looking along. He has not friends; he is a romantic hero. Ahab is not a happy human being, he is like heroes of Shakespearean tragedy. He is suffering for the pain he has inside from the beginning to the end of the novel....
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