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Good And Evil Moby Dick Essay

645 words - 3 pages

Good and Evil Moby Dick

In Melville’s Moby-Dick, Queegueg and Ahab show distinction between good and evil through the treatment of others, themselves and situations. Although Queequeg is a pagan, he has more Christian attributes than even the most devout Christians on the Pequod. Ahab is not the person that everyone would expect to be the most iniquitous character of them all. Most would say that Moby Dick himself personifies evil however, he has innocent characteristics about him. This is unfair, as is calling Queequeg a savage or saying that Ahab is civilized.

When Queequeg is first introduced we see a savage cannibalistic beast, returning from selling heads on the streets with a tomahawk pipe in hand. We later see a man who, in chapter eight saves the “shivering greenhorn” (Melville 65) that insulted him then fell overboard. Queequeg did not have to jump into the sea and save the man, he could have ignored him like many would. He also cuts Tashtego from the whale he is caught beneath. He is not a hypocrite like he observed many Christians to be. He is not afraid of death either like many Christians are. When it was supposedly time for him to die from his fever in chapter 110, he tells about wanting to be buried like his ancestors, floating down a river in a canoe. The carpenter made him a coffin and Queequeg tested the comfort of the coffin and responded “ “Rarmai” (It will do; it is easy)” (Melville 440). Queequeg lived in a misnomer throughout Moby-Dick because he is not the savage that everyone knows him as, but as a person with Christian attitudes in the body of a savage cannibal.

Ahab is the absolute evil in the book. The only time in the entire book that there is an expression of his...

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