Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is this a book about whaling, or is it something else?


Mrs. Baird said...

This book, on the surface, is about whaling, but really it's about the great differences in human perspectives. Captain Boomer and Captain Ahab both received similar injuries from Moby Dick, but Boomer is optimistic enough to move on, knowing that any further attempts to try to catch the white whale will most likely lead to the loss of other limbs. Thus, he simply decided that the loss of one is enough, and there is no point risking another to avenge the first limb. Ahab, on the other hand, is pessimism incarnate due to the fact that he gained these monomaniac tendencies and based his life solely upon revenge on the whale. This means that the Pequod's entire crew is at the mercy of Moby, as well. Thus, Melville is commenting that one could see the glass half-full like Boomer, disregard an past woe to prevent future pains, and live a great life. Or, one could see the glass half-empty like Ahab and spend his entire life chasing an impossible revenge.


Mrs. Baird said...
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Mrs. Baird said...

I think that this novel is more than just a whaling adventure, it is also about good vs evil. Based upon each person's views on what each character represents; for example does Moby represent God or the Devil, is Ahab insane or is his insanity really sanity, etc. In my opinion I believe that Moby represents God and Ahab evil, and with the ending it shows how good always prevails over evil.
-bon qui qui