Moby-Dick or The Whale Study Guide

Moby-Dick or The Whale Study Guide

Original title:
Moby Dick; or, The Whale

Herman Melville was born into a wealthy importer family. But all of the sudden the business failed and his life changed drastically. Trying to make a living, he signed up for his first sea journey when he was nineteen. His experience as a part of a whaling expedition and then living on an exotic island among the tribe of cannibals gave the author an immense material for writing topics.

His most known work today, “Moby-Dick” first appeared in 1851 and wasn’t the most appreciated comparing to his other novels. Ishmael is an experienced sailor but he hasn’t yet been on a whaling sea voyage. He craves for it. He is willing to share a bed with a stranger for it.

At the capital of whaling industry, Nantucket, they find jobs at Pequod ship. Its captain Ahab is recovering from a leg amputation after a recent encounter with a while whale. He is driven by the vendetta to kill this whale called Moby-Dick.

Each whale they meet is murdered and processed, of course not without the causalities form the crew side. Each storm that hits them is considered a sign of closing in on a white whale. Greatly influenced by the biblical stories, the novel is full of prophecies, signs and interpretations.

When you are one on one with immense water reservoir called Pacific Ocean, when you are facing a majestic animal that is much older and bigger than you, notion of fate plays in its special color. It makes us wonder what would have happened to whales as a kind if substitutes for whale oil haven’t been found? Would humanity have survived this loss?

“Moby-Dick” is more than a documentary of living on the ocean. It is a philosophical discussion of the life and its values, goals and religion. Sometimes when you go against the nature, it fights back in unimaginable ways.

New Essays

Moby Dick

1. In this video, we immediately learn of an obsessed captain who wants revenge. Why does he want revenge and against whom or what? We learn that he wants revenge against the giant whale that stole his arm. 2. Who is the narrator of Moby Dick and what is the first line of the novel? The narrator...

Moby Dick/ in the Heart of the Sea Compare and Contrast Essay

Moby Dick/ In the Heart of the Sea Compare and Contrast Essay Moby Dick and In the Heart of the Sea are two very similar yet different books. In Heart of the Sea was the inspiration for Moby Dick, so no wonder why they have very comparable plots. These two books have many important literary...

Moby Dick Analysis

Literary Analysis Moby Dick by Herman Melville Introduction The narrator in the beginning, Ishmael, announces his intent of becoming a whaler, and thus the story begins. Ishmael signs on to the Pequod under Captain Ahab, to hunt the legendary white whale, Moby Dick. After leaving the port in...

Marital Images in Moby Dick

Marital Images in Moby-Dick Authors use symbolic elements in their writings to communicate a deeper thought or feeling in their message. In Moby-Dick, Herman Melville uses several symbols to illustrate the loving relationship, or “marriage” between Ishmael and Queequeg, such as the bedding of the...

See all essays