Moby-Dick or The Whale Study Guide

Moby-Dick or The Whale Study Guide

Author:
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.

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