Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You gotta problem with me?

What do you consider the biggest conflict of the novel--man vs. nature, man, self, or fate?

10 comments:

Mrs. Baird said...

The biggest conflict that I see within this novel is man vs. self. I think this because obviously Ahab's madness, but the other crew members are struggling with their own problems as well. Ahab's monomania has influenced the rest of the crew and even Ishmael is contemplating whether this was a voyage of fate or free will. Queequeg makes a statement about death and claims that if a man wants to die he will, but if he has a will to get better he most certainly will, just as Queequeg did himself. I think the crews' nemesis in Moby Dick is only themselves.
-llamabrain

Mrs. Baird said...

I think the biggest conflist is man verses self. Ahab is all wrapped up in his hatred for Moby Dick that he can't see anything else. It's not man verses nature because Moby is not out to get Ahab. Moby is just a whale with animal instincts and Ahab refuses to see him as anything other than "all evil personified."

Peter Coffin

Mrs. Baird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Baird said...

I agree that the biggest conflict is man vs self, I think that everything having to do with a person is a conflict with themself. It was Ahab's choice to go after moby just as it was ishmale's choice to sail on the Dommed Pequad wiht a phsyco capitan. They each become so wraped up in what they think is fate and the only way that they foget that they do have free will. They both know they will die but they are chosing the most dangerous ways to go about it because of there dumb pride, and I think that is the cause of there self inflicted conflict. Ahab refuses to look or think about anything but this wale its compleatly consumed him, and its not the wales doing! well it was but it wasn't intentional. Ahabs demize isnt going to be the hemp that kills him its going to be somethign stupid he did to put himself there.

-Shark bait!

Mrs. Baird said...

I think that the biggest conflict is man vs. nature. The way I see it, Ahab is aware of his madness. He's not some person thinking he is sane when in actuallity he is crazy. I feel that he has accepted his craziness; he knows he can never hope to be sane until Moby is slain. And the fact that he cannot catch Moby only angers him more.

Spock

Mrs. Baird said...

Man vs. nature, mostly because of the last line and the title character. I definitely don't think it's man vs. fate, because although that was a major conflict and theme, I think a lot of the character's actions were their instinctual choices that they blamed on fate. For example, Ishmael admitted at one point that he had a bad feeling about the Pequod. He could've picked another ship, but he didn't, only because he thought it was fate.
Man vs. self is next, because Ahab and Pip struggle with their madness and Starbuck struggles with his conflicting urges (loyalty and self-preservation).

Mrs. Baird said...

Last comment by Essex Haunt, by the way.

Mrs. Baird said...

Although the men aboard the Pequod feel that they are the victims of fate, I feel this novel presents the conflit of man vs. self. Even from the very first chapter of Moby Dick, Ishmael was battling himself through his quasi-depression which caused him to go on the whaling voyage. Ahab's monomania also exhibits this conflit because he is constantly battling him memory of his encouter with Moby and cannot forget, which results in his desire to get revenge. I do believe that Ishmael, Ahab and other members of the Pequod are battling themselves throughout the novel.
~Shamu~

Mrs. Baird said...

There are many conficts in this novel: man v. man with Ahab and Starbuck, man v. nature with Ahab and Moby, man v. fate with almost every character on the ship, but the central conflict is man v. self. Ahab could not understand the reason for Moby's attack, forcing him in to his monomaniac ways. He created a barrier with this monomania that caused many of these conflicts. For example, his madness was the cause of his conflict with the still sane Starbuck who disagreed with his justifications. Man v. nature also came about because of his conlict inside him, not being able to rationalize with himself. He also creates the man v. fate conflict by believing he can chose his own and make his destiny to conquer Moby Dick. Because all the conflicts in the novel were an outcome of the conflict between Ahab and himself, it was the central conflict.

--Henry

espliego said...

Isn't it a pity that on this template your friends' comments appear as your own?

All the comments appear as "Mrs. Baird said...", but I see they are signed by different people "llamabrain", "Peter Coffin", "Spock"......