The Characters And Plot Of "Moby Dick" By By Herman Melville

1543 words - 6 pages

The Characters and PlotThere are numerous characters in Moby Dick, but only a few of themhave any impact on the story. A common sailor named Ishmael is thenarrator. The book, however, focuses on Captain Ahab, the one-leggedcommander of the whaling ship Pequod. Ahab has sworn to kill thegigantic whale Moby Dick, who took away his leg. Starbuck is thefirst mate of the Pequod. Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo are thethree harpooners.The story begins with Ishmael becoming restless. He decides to goout to sea on a whaling ship. In the port of New Bedford, he meetsand shares a room with a harpooner named Queequeg. The two of thembecome close friends, and agree to ship out together.The day after they reach Nantucket, Ishmael begins searching for awhaling ship preparing to leave harbor. Out of three ships ready toleave, he chooses the Pequod. The owners of the ship, Captains Pelegand Bildad are excited to hear of Queequeg from Ishmael and gladlylet him join the crew. They are told the captain of the ship isnamed Ahab. Peleg and Bildad say that he is a good man, but becauseof some strange illness, he is confined to his cabin.On Christmas day, and with Ahab still in his cabin, the Pequod setssail in the Atlantic. As the weather begins to warm up (severalmonths after leaving port), Ahab is finally seen on deck. Thestrangest thing about Ahab is his leg. Instead of flesh and bone, hehas a white ivory peg leg.As the weeks wear on, Ahab starts to become friendlier. One day, hecalls the crew before him. He tells them that the sole mission ofthe Pequod is to kill Moby Dick. Moby Dick is a gigantic sperm whalewith a crooked jaw and a deformed forehead. He has never beendefeated, and has attacked and sunk entire ships. Ahab admits hehates Moby Dick for taking his leg away, and wants revenge. The crewagree to this challenge, and swear to hunt him down. The only who isnot excited about hunting down Moby Dick is first-mate Starbuck.For many months, the Pequod sails South, through the Atlantic,around the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa), and intothe Indian Ocean. Along the way, they kill and drain the spermacetioil from every sperm whale they encounter. Each time they meetanother ship, Ahab begins the conversation with "Hast seen the WhiteWhale?".Finally, after entering the Japanese sea, the Pequod encounters awhaling ship named the Enderby. The Enderby's captain had justrecently lost his arm to Moby Dick. Ahab becomes so excited at thenews that he breaks his ivory leg. The ship's carpenter builds him anew one.Once reaching the waters around the equator, the Pequod meetsanother whaling ship, the Rachel. They had seen Moby Dick, and hadbecome separated from one of the whaling boats during the battle.Ahab refuses to help them look for the missing men.At last, Moby Dick is spotted by Ahab. In the first day offighting, the whale is harpooned many times, but escapes aftersmashing Ahab's boat. On the second day, the whale is harpoonedagain, but still escapes. On...

Find Another Essay On The Characters and Plot of "Moby Dick" by By Herman Melville

Symbolism and Foreshadowing in Herman Melville's Moby Dick

1787 words - 7 pages "Do human beings have free will or free choice and if not who or what shapes human destiny?" (McSweeney 9) Herman Melville utilizes Father Mapple's sermon in his nineteenth century epic novel Moby Dick, to illustrate the duality of mankind. Mortal man pursues his own singular interests with selfish intent; however, God has prevailing intentions, which are often beyond the comprehension of the individual. Melville expands and elaborates this

The representation of the racial Other in Herman Melville's Moby Dick

6063 words - 24 pages deliberately uses these conventions, stereotypes and contemporary racial discourse for his own purposes (Otter 1). By means of irony and mimicry he disproves the original implications of racial discourse. Examples of these strategies can for example be found in his stereotypical presentation of the Other as a savage, which he then contrasts with the "civilized" white man, who turns out to be the true savage. In Moby Dick, Melville tries to confront the

Slow Suicide in Melville´s Moby Dick

1722 words - 7 pages nation of men—30 men for 30 states is explicit enough—doomed by the mad will of him in power. The Whale either becomes God, myth, the embodiment of evil, or all of the above, depending on which character’s perception is to be taken. Indeed, Moby Dick contains myriad instances of such applied meaning, but the focus of this paper will be that of three of the most prominent: that of the sea, that of whiteness, and that of Moby Dick. Ishmael

Herman Melville's classic novel,"Moby Dick"

1284 words - 5 pages Two RoadsA man's life can be exceptionally different according to his acceptance of morals. Taking place in the 1800s, Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick, introduced this contrast through the characters Ahab and Starbuck. Ahab was the whaling ship's captain who had no morals and let his obsessions bring himself down. Conversely, Starbuck had morals which provided him with opposing strength and a more honorable downfall than Ahab

Desire in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick

3148 words - 13 pages Mumford’s seminal study Herman Melville: A Critical Biography (1929) marking the advent of the “Melville industry,” attentive readers—amateur and professional alike—have reached consensus respecting the text’s massive and heterogeneous structure. Moby Dick, for all its undeniable heuristic treasures, remains a taxonomist’s nightmare. For Melville’s complex narrative is an embarrassment of riches variously described as a novel, a romance, and an

Perspective on Religion Herman Melville's Moby-Dick

5406 words - 22 pages , necessity, and free will. Ishmael argues for all these beliefs not on the basis of canonical revelation or discursive reasons, but on the basis of intuition and mystical insight. This is Ishmael's religious perspective. But whose perspective is right? Is Ishmael's correct? Is Ahab's? Queequeg's? Is the orthodox Christian perspective correct? Moby-Dick does not answer these questions. Ishmael tells the reader that the "pulpit leads to the world" (46). Ishmael shows the reader that who is in the pulpit makes all the difference. Work Cited Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1981.

Melville shows anger at Christianity through biblical allusions in Moby Dick

1356 words - 5 pages " (47). Once Jonah admits his sinfulness and follows his maker, the whale frees Jonah. Father Mapple says that obeying God can be difficult and might not seem logical to the person listening. Once Father Mapple speaks about Jonah and the whale, it becomes clear that Herman Melville's 1851 novel has a connection to the Bible and Christianity. Melville fills Moby Dick with several biblical allusions, and the novel's main characters are linked

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

980 words - 4 pages Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville Herman Melville, an American novelist and major literary figure explored psychological themes in many of his works. Herman Melville was born in 1819 in New York City into an established merchant family. The family's fortune had taken a decline that led to bankruptcy and caused insanity to enter into his father's Life. Through his writing, Melville recreated a part of life that

"Bartleby, the scrivener" by Herman Melville

696 words - 3 pages Have you ever tried to provide help for someone who refused it at the end? There is no doubt that the help becomes meaningless, even though the person is really eager to give a hand. In the short story "Bartleby, the scrivener" by Herman Melville, the narrator, a lawyer, who was considered as an "eminently safe man" (56). He dealt with the business that took few risks and believed that the easiest path in life was always the best. The lawyer was

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville

807 words - 3 pages Benito Cereno by Herman Melville In many stories, the main characters carry the plot of a story throughout the book. The author often expresses the message that he desires the reader to receive through their thoughts and actions. Yet, the minor characters often have a large affect on the outcome of the book, although it is not quite as obvious to the reader. By altering the thoughts or actions of the main characters, a seemingly minor

The Life and Career of Herman Melville

1422 words - 6 pages Herman Melville during his time was known as the greatest writer. He was the author of many novels such as, Moby Dick, and Bartleby the Scrivener (Allen 9). Herman Millville stories were based on factual aspects in his life and the world surrounding him. Through his literature he expressed his feelings on certain political or economic issues that were occurring during the nineteenth century. In this essay I will be discussing Herman Millville’s

Similar Essays

The Plot Of "Moby Dick" Essay

1018 words - 4 pages who predicts doom for anyone who threatens Moby Dick. His predictions seem to carry some weight as those aboard his ship who have hunted the whale have met disaster. While trying to drain the oil from the head of a captured sperm whale Tashtego one of the Pequod's harpooners falls into the whale's voluminous head which then rips free of the ship and begins to sink. Queequeg saves Tashtego by diving into the ocean and cutting into the slowly

Herman Melville's Moby Dick Essay

2604 words - 11 pages Moby dick is a novel written by Herman Melville. The books takes place on the open seas, where very little happens. It has earned its status as a literary classic not by the typical presentation of a nuanced, epic plot or by devoting itself to absolute perfect portrayal of the world, but by its sheer bravado and omnipresence matched only by the god-character whom the novel takes its name from, Moby Dick. This is not to say that Moby Dick’s plot

Revenge Caused By Injury And It's Consequences In Herman Melville's "Moby Dick"

2969 words - 12 pages deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. All that most madden and torments; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made pratically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by the whole human race from Adam down..." (Melville, 175).It actually makes sense that

Herman Melville's Now Famous Story "Bartleby The Scrivener". Melville Wrote This, Just After He Wrote Moby Dick

1091 words - 4 pages Bartleby the ScrivenerHerman Melville wrote 'Bartleby the Scrivener' towards the end of his declining career. Melville, wrote Bartleby after he wrote his now famous book "Moby Dick". However, in Melville's time Moby Dick was not the hit it is today. Perhaps in Melville's eyes, his career as a writer was not going the way he desired. In order to support his family and continue to earn a living, Melville continued to write novels. It is rather