Moby Dick, East of Eden, and Sophie's World Comparison

Topics: Jostein Gaarder, Moby-Dick, Destiny Pages: 3 (892 words) Published: September 9, 2013
"Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain" is a famous quote by William Jennings Bryan. This quote also ties in with all three books and is the resounding theme of each one. In other words, we control our own destiny and fate in life. In Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Ishmael, the main character and narrator of the book, recounts his adventures aboard the whale ship, Pequoud, which mainly include chasing a whale called Moby Dick. In Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, Alberto Knox encourages Sophie to think about her life philosophically through various examples from history. In East of Eden, John Steinbeck follows the life of the Trusk and Hamilton families, a basic portrayal of good vs evil, and how you can choose which one to be.

Throughout Moby Dick, the theme of an unavoidable destiny is clear as demonstrated by Captain Ahab and his unquenchable to desire to kill Moby Dick even though it is obviously not possible. Ahab is blinded by revenge, and thus the choices he makes are not his. "The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my (Ahab's) soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I (Ahab) rush!" (Melville, 265) demonstrates that Ahab acknowledges his destiny and that he has no control over it as shown by the quote and how is fate is a fixes purpose laid with iron rails. In East of Eden, a major theme is the constant conflict between good and evil as shown throughout the book. "Some men are friends with the whole world in their hearts, and there are others that hate themselves and spread their hatred around like butter on hot bread," (Steinbeck, 144) shows that there is both good and evil in this world and throughout the book it is shown that there is a constant struggle between the two. This is shown by the struggle between Charles and Adam, Aron and Cal, and relates to the story of Cain and Abel in the Book...
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