Pasteboard Mask Essay

821 words - 3 pages

Pasteboard Mask Essay Throughout my life, I have made most of my decisions and performed certain acts based on how I felt at that particular period. You could say that I did these things because they made me happy and I thought that it was appropriate at the time. In Moby Dick, Captain Ahab feels that he must explore the outer limits of the "pasteboard mask" he has painted for himself, which would be his eagerness to encounter the whale with the intent to kill it. However, his intention turned on him and the whale ultimately destroyed him.Although Ahab's experience was negative, pasteboard masks can have positive results as well. After situations like these, we might often find ourselves asking why we do such things or how we get these motives in the first place.Ahab is an admirable and intelligent man whose balance has been disturbed by the blind and aimless anger of the whale that eventually destroys him. He is a man capable of love, but love by no means outweighs him. Nevertheless, his pride dominates his love. He tends to despise those who do not see the universe as he sees it. However, the center of his pride lies in the fact that he is not content merely to "see" more than other men, but wishes to put forth his power over what he sees. He seems to want to alter the world. He seeks to destroy the whale to prove that man is greater than the power that hides behind the "pasteboard masks" of physical reality. His pride, though it comes from a terrible sense of hurt with which we can sympathize, is irreverent. His longing for revenge is directed at God, or whatever Ahab considers to be God, rather than only at the whale. This urge to get revenge is even more surprising because it is directed at such an obscure object. Whatever power controls the universe, Ahab wants to attack it as he feels he has been attacked. The immensity of his mission sets Ahab apart from most tragic characters. Even with his dying breath, he refused to ask repent for his actions.In my experiences, I have had various ways of attempting to go beyond my "pasteboard mask." A pasteboard mask might be one's attempt to be happy, not necessarily for the moment, but for later on in their future. It also can but put as a chain linked situation, where...

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