There is no order if compulsion and fanatism have authorization in their frailty like appreciation. But so, how can another last in such a huffy environment without give uping to that pandemonium? A In this paper, utilizing Herman Melville ‘s epic narrative of Moby Dick as an exemplifying vehicle, I will research how it is that in the center of such a pandemonium Ishmael and Queequeg come non merely to an credence of each other ‘s differences but besides to a originative synthesis enabled specifically by those divergencies.
The heroic narrative of Moby Dick, although now considered a authoritative, had a hapless response when it was foremost published. This deficiency of enthusiasm for the narrative of Captain Ahab and, his monomaniacal obsessionA for vengeanceA upon the great white giant which had torn off his leg was in portion due to Herman Melville ‘s idiosyncratic styleA but besides a natural effect of the frequently contradictory subjects of the book. By idiosyncratic I am touching to its originality of idea and to the mode by which ideas and images are woven into the narrative and characters in an frequently discordant mode. With regard to the capable affair, A the narrative is at times fazing and even terrorizing. It is amongst many things a narrative of Ahab ‘s fanatism and intolerance. Ahab hated this lone giant of the deep because it would ne’er conform to his will. Moby Dick was disconcertingly nomadic, perilously independent.
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A A In the narrative of Moby Dick, Ahab is non merely an ordinary mariner. He is the Captain of the Pequod and as such he has the duty for the lives of the crew and for the success and, profitableness of the ocean trip. Yet in his overzealous compulsion for retribution against the giant who would non subject to hisA command, he misuses his power, ignoring the safety of his crew and the productiveness of the expedition. He does this, all to avoid a confrontation with himself and his ain exposures. Ahab is possessed by the psychotic belief that he can and mustA maestro Moby Dick and to this terminal nil else affairs. In a Jungian sense Ahab ‘s unconscious has invaded and assumed control of his witting head. In Two Essaies On Analytical Psychology, Carl Jung writes,
“ A prostration of the witting attitude is no little affair. It ever feels like the terminal of the universe, as though everything had tumbled back into original pandemonium. One feels delivered up, disorientated, like a rudderless ship that is abandoned to the tempers of the elements ( Jung 1917/1977 par 254 ) . ”
This mention to a rudderless ship is really affecting sing the Pequod is under the control of a Captain who, consumed by a homicidal hatred for Moby Dick, is left at the clemency of the elements. The Pequod is vulnerable non merely to the conditions in the signifier of air currents and rain that whip the sea into craze but besides to the frenzied obsessive province of Ahab. Ahab is a CaptainA who, misapplying his authorization and power, A would put on the line the lives and limbs of everyone on board, even to the devastation of the Pequod itself, to ordain bloody retribution on the giant who had ripped his flesh asunder and who had torn off his leg.
In Captain Ahab, Herman Melville has created a character whose motivations of vengeanceA parallel his delusional and monomaniacal chase of Moby Dick. This configuration of dysfunctionA typifies the behavior of a psychotic individual. Furthermore, in the narrative of Moby Dick, Melville has given us a glance non merely into the delusional universe of a individual in the clasp of a psychosis butA besides intoA the impact of this psychosis on everyone on board the Pequod. Psychotic psychotic beliefs are non isolated ; they are infective and have an affect on all of those inA their sphere.
A Summary of the Story
A A Ishmael the storyteller of this heroic narrative, with Queequeg his to a great extent tattooed, cannibal mate, ship aboard the Pequod, a whaler from Nantucket, edge for the Pacific Ocean. Ahab, the captain of the whaler, is a one-legged adult male with a maniacal compulsion to avenge himself on Moby Dick, the lone great white giant called, who bit off his leg. Ishmael is fascinated by the whale trade, gives a elaborate history of the whale operations aboard the Pequod and frequently digresses from his narration of Ahab ‘s progressive descent into lunacy to research all facets of whale categorization, anatomy, natural history, fables and utilizations for the blubber, castanetss and internal variety meats of the giant.
Ahab is at first reclusive, maintaining out of sight of his crew for some yearss. He eventually appears on deck and announces his purpose: A to prosecute and kill Moby Dick. He offers a gold doubloon, nailed to the mast, to the first adult male who sights the despised whale.A A The Pequod searches the whaling evidences of the Atlantic, killing giants as they are sighted. The ship continues around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, and eventually into the Pacific Ocean without any sightings of Moby Dick. Other whalers are sighted along the manner, some with narratives of Moby Dick, and they provide a contrast to the Pequod. The lone white giant is at last sighted in the Nipponese Cruising Ground.
Starbuck, the first mate of the Pequod, recognises Ahab ‘s unhealthy compulsion with Moby Dick and has tried throughout the ocean trip to deter his captain from following the giant. He even considered hiting Ahab, but faltered. Evidence of Ahab ‘s compulsion abounds. Ahab ‘s extraordinary safeguards for killing Moby Dick include the diabolic creative activity of an extraordinary harpoon, the shots tempered with the blood of his three heathen harpooneers, a particular boat crew, and Fedallah, a Parsee skilled in stating lucks from marks.
The pursuit of Moby Dick his heralded by portents ; nature seems to state Ahab to turn away but Ahab will mind no warnings. Ahab will non give up the pursuit and confronts the giant on three occasions. On the last attempt, caught in the lines of the harpoons stuck on the giants back, Ahab is dragged to his decease. Moby Dick, seemingly enraged by the Pequod ‘s grim chase batters the ship with his caput and sinks it, so departs. The lone subsister of the wreck is Ishmael, who is kept afloat by Queequeg ‘s casket turned-life-buoy and rescued by the Rachel, whose captain is seeking for a boy last seen prosecuting Moby Dick.
The Madness of Ahab
I am traveling to get down this subdivision with a inquiry: does Ahab go increasingly huffy in the class of Moby Dick or does he get down huffy and remain huffy throughout? This inquiry poses another ; ‘what is madness? ‘ I remember as a immature adolescent mounting inside ‘Hanging Rock ‘ through an gap in an otherwise solid rock-face. What I discovered insideA was a labyrinth or honey comb of transitions. I kept following a pin point of light until I managed to happen my manner out but I broke my cubitus in my flight from this terrorizing labyrinth. When I have been back to Hanging Rock I have gone back to the gap and as I peered within I thought that I must hold been huffy to hold gone indoors. Whatever had possessed me? Subsequently when the book ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock ‘ was published I had wondered if Joan Lindsay had besides found the gap. My tracking into the darkness of the stone was a close self-destructive experience but through my ain analysis this finding to acquire inside the volcanic building has become originative. The adolescent experience was symbolic of an internal moral force for life. So why was Ahab ‘s descent into lunacy non salvageable ; why did it ensue in self-destruction and the devastation of all around him? If he had caught and killed his Nemesis Moby Dick, there was a really existent possibilityA that this journey would hold been seen, both by himself and by others who encountered this journey, as an act of gallantry.
In the narrative of Moby Dick, the really things that contribute to Ahab ‘s lunacy, that is, his compulsion to seek retaliation against all odds ; do the narrative something of a pursuit ; a hero ‘s journey. It is dry that the really qualities that make him heroic, his strength, finding, will-power and sense of intent, alsoA make him flawed. Ahab is presented as a complex character, a personality full of contradictions. The seeds of Ahab ‘s lunacy are in his indispensable character. He is maniacal when he foremost attacks Moby Dick with a knife, ( Melville 2008 p.164 ) and his despairing push of the harpoon at the terminal of the book is like the first onslaught in its unreason. Yet Ahab ‘s lunacy is ab initio carefully concealed from his crew, from Captains Bildad and Peleg, and the reader is merely bit by bit made aware of Ahab ‘s anguished province of head. In fact when Peleg is talking to Ishmael of Ahab he speaks ofA him being a good adult male.
I know Captain Ahab good ; I ‘ve sailed with him as mate old ages ago ; cognize what he is – a good adult male – non a pious, good adult male, like Bildad, but a curse good adult male – something like me – merely there ‘s a good trade more of him ( Melville 2008 p. 72 ) .
The inquiry that comes to mind in the context of the narrative ; A what does being a good adult male mean to Peleg? Does it intend that Ahab brings back the Pequod in good order with a good draw? If this is the instance so Ahab ‘s compulsion with Moby Dick would travel unnoticed until at sea. WhilstA Peleg knows there is more to Ahab than meets the oculus, that does non concern him. What concerns him is the success and profitableness of the ocean trip. But we do non cognize what is exactly meant by good, or by its antonym, bad. Is badness lunacy? A The nature of the inquiry implies a clear limit between good and bad, saneness and lunacy but possibly the apposition of theA mutual oppositions is the really kernel of the unanswerableness of the inquiry. Even as lunacy is sometimes imagined as rooted in the eruption of the unconscious and saneness asA its opposite pole, rooted in ration and ground, such an imaginativeness once more draws mutual oppositions in two waies that are unsustainable.A First, it is in the balance between the witting andA unconscious that saneness is to beA found, non in the laterality of one over the other.A Secondly, A in a Jungian context the line of limit between the witting and the unconscious can ne’er be drawn with unambiguous lucidity ( Jung 1954/1987 par. 384f ) .
The sense of instability that is betrayed in Ahab ‘s actions has two affects. For some of the crew there is a magnetic attractive force emanating from his forsaking to his delusions.A For others, there is sense of impending problem, nameless and obscure, that betrays a perceptual experience thatA all is non right.A Ishmael is uneasy about Ahab after he foremost marks on the Pequod and the confidences of Captain Peleg do non convert him that AhabA has a married woman and kid and that ‘Ahab has his humanistic disciplines ‘ ( Melville 2008 p. 72 ) . In fact, all grounds points to the unusual character of Ahab. When the prophet-like figure of Elijah warns Ishmael about the at hand ocean trip, he compounds Ishmael ‘s anxiousnesss about the adult male named after the doomed Old Testament King, whose blood Canis familiariss licked. Ahab ‘s farness on board the Pequod, coupled with dockside superstitious notion, adds to the feeling that Ahab isA an unusualA character and that the ocean trip will be eventful.
Throughout the ocean trip Ahab ‘s desire to kill the White Whale is underscored. Every passing ship ‘s captain is asked about the giant. The disclosure of the hidden boat crew with Fedallah aboard the Pequod adds a farther machination to the quest to happen Moby Dick as do the sleepless tickers of Fedallah and Ahab, and his preoccupation with portents and marks of good and evil. Before the Pequod arrives at the hunting land where Ahab expects to happen Moby Dick, he has the blacksmith make him a particular harpoon of the hardest steel to utilize against the great white giant. For the concluding annealing, he asks the three harpooneers for some of their blood, and into this he plunges the het shot.
“ Ego non baptizo Te sick nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli! [ I baptize you non in the name of the male parent but in the name of the Satan ] , ” deliriously howled Ahab, as the malignant Fe scorchingly devoured the baptismal blood ” ( Melville 2008 p.435 ) .
Baptism is a symbol of submergence ; the novice is fused with the object of the baptism. The deduction ‘s for Ahab is his merger with the Satan, symbolized in his harpoon. This farther fuels his compulsion. In raising the power of the Satan Ahab ‘s destiny is sealed. There will be no sanctuary for his overpowering feelings, no remainder from his compulsion. By prosecuting in such a compact he is leting hatred and force to overpower all other factors. He has taken the concluding measure towards his ain devastation. The inherent aptitudes he has repressed and suppressed, that have festered internally, now erupt and eclipse all other facets of his being. This shadow eruption, its malignity, is directed non merely towards his Nemesis Moby Dick but to his ain internal universe. Jung writes of the generation and power of the unconscious,
It owes its being to the simple fact that all the urges, ideas, wants and inclinations which run counter to the rationale orientation of day-to-day life are denied look, push into the background, and eventually fall into the unconscious. There all the things which we have intentionally ignored and devalued, bit by bit accumulate and, in clip, get such force that they begin to act upon consciousnessaˆ¦ The unconscious besides contains the dark springs of inherent aptitude and intuition ( Jung 1918/1964 par 25 ) .
Ahab is an experient captain of his whaling vas. He is a Friend and would ne’er, under normal fortunes, visage such a treaty with the Satan, such a malevolent and charming sacrament. This is an sinful act for a Quaker and uncover his interior anguish. Jung insists that immorality has every bit much significant world as good. In Jung ‘s position Satan is the split off shadow facet of Christ and the anti-Christ has every bit much claim to being a symbol of the ego as Jesus has because the anti-Christ besides represents a portion of the true ego, the dark side ( Jung, 1979/1951 par 790 ) . The character of Ahab depicts a adult male enmeshed in a destructive cyberspace of his ain devising ; an web that envelops non merely himself but everyone touched by his compulsion.
In the concluding yearss of the chase Ahab ‘s addresss show him to be enduring non merely from deficiency of sleepA but alsoA from mental torment. He dreams of killing the giant ; he dreams of hearses. Ahab becomes more high-strung about every mark than he has been earlier. As he nears the giant his whole being is devoted to the Hunt. He associates himself with Pip, the huffy cabin male child, and he openly acknowledges his ain lunacy.
Ahab ‘s compulsion for bloody requital is a reaction to the misdemeanor of his ain boundaries as a adult male with an integral physical ego. Moby Dick has violated Ahab ‘s boundaries so resolutely that he has been driven huffy. Ahab has endured an experience where the lines spliting humanity and nature, ego and universe have been dissolved. His lunacy is derived from the disintegration of the most personal every bit good as universal of boundaries for non merely has his physical unity been violated but the unity of his head and psyche. The white cicatrix that some believe runs down his organic structure from Ahab ‘s Crown to its sole, marks him as a adult male ripped in two, cleaving fast to a monomaniacal intent that holds him together ( Porter 1991 p.104 ) .
A ” His vindictive chase of the White Whale is fuelled by a demand every bit despairing as it is doomed, the demand to reinstate the boundaries that the giant ‘s dismembering onslaught has dissolved. But as the instance of Pip serves to bespeak, one time such boundaries have been dissolved they can non be reconstituted. For the vision of such pandemonium and the experience of absolute exposure to which such a crisis leads render all boundaries suspect, unreal, and eventually sinister. All ‘visible objects ‘ for Ahab go ‘pasteboard masks ‘ ” ( Porter 1991 p.104 ) .
Vengeance is an insatiate desire to take retaliation on those who have inflicted hurting and humiliation. It is merely sought when there has been a great loss, a loss that is seen to incarnate an unfairness, an unfairness which dislodges the sense of the manner world should be, and an unfairness imposed by an enemy over whom triumph should hold been assured. In his head, Ahab lost his leg to a animal, an inferior animal. At this point, Moby Dick ceased to be merely a immense, lone giant. He became a symbol of that which denied Ahab ‘s perceptual experience that as a adult male, a Captain, he should hold laterality. Moby Dick symbolises his mortality, his restrictions in the face of nature ‘s power. Revenge becomes compulsion because merely with retaliation can the universe become once more that which supportsA Ahab ‘s adoptive perceptual experience of order. For Ahab, retaliation is the lone manner to restructure boundaries that have been ripped from his organic structure, head and psyche, and thereby reconstruct his lost humanity.
Ironically, in his concluding hours Ahab draws near to acknowledging his ain humanity. Starbuck notices that Ahab sheds a tear ; a mark of his humanity. Yet Starbuck is still powerless to deter Ahab from his quest. Magnificent even in torture, maestro over the elements, a natural leader, Ahab ‘s passion, non his mind, victory in the terminal. As he himself admits, feelings, non ideas, are his regulating bureaus. Ahab ‘s compulsion for bloody requital is, a reaction to the misdemeanor of his ain boundaries as a adult male with an integral physical ego. Moby Dick has violated Ahab ‘s boundaries so resolutely that he has been driven huffy. Ahab has endured an experience where the lines spliting humanity and nature, ego and universe have been dissolved. Ahab ‘s lunacy is derived from the disintegration of the most personal every bit good as universal of boundaries for non merely has his physical unity been violated but the unity of his head and psyche. The white cicatrix that some believe runs down his organic structure from Ahab ‘s Crown to its exclusive Markss him as a adult male ripped in two cleaving fast to a monomaniacal intent that holds him together ( Porter 1991 p.104 ) .
“ His vindictive chase of the White Whale is fuelled by a demand every bit despairing as it is doomed, the demand to reinstate the boundaries that the giant ‘s dismembering onslaught has dissolved. But as the instance of Pip serves to bespeak, one time such boundaries have been dissolved, they can non be reconstituted. For the vision of such pandemonium and the experience of absolute exposure to which such a crisis leads render all boundaries suspect, unreal, and eventually sinister. All ‘visible objects ‘ for Ahab go ‘pasteboard masks ‘ ” ( Porter 1991 p.104 ) .
Magnificent even in torture, maestro over the elements, a natural leader, but in the endA it is Ahab ‘s passion thatA triumphsA over his mind. As he himself admits, feelings, non ideas, are his regulating bureaus. His concluding desperate push with his harpoon is a passionate act, born of retribution non ground. The fibrous crick that pulls him to his decease is inadvertent, unexpected, and sudden but it should non hold been. He was an experient whaler. Surrendering to his passionate will, his decease is inevitable. It is non being ripped apart by a Leviathan from the deep that makes Ahab mad, it is the compulsion that overwhelms his ground and his battle with the worlds around him.
A A A A In the chapter titled ‘The Monkey Rope ‘ , in order to ‘cut in ‘ a dead giant, Queequeg descends onto its back as it rides partly submerged beside the whaling boat. Ishmael holds Queequeg “ down at that place in the sea by what in the piscary is technically termed ‘a monkey-rope ‘ ” ( Melville 2008 p.287 ) and both are in great danger. The monkey-rope is fastened around Queequeg and onto the giant, Ishmael precariously equilibrating him from the boat: “ So that for better or worse, we two, for the clip were wedded ” ( Melville 2008 p.287 ) . Ishmael said, “ should hapless Queequeg sink to lift no more, so both use and award demanded, that alternatively of cutting the cord, it should drag me down in his wakeaˆ¦ Queequeg was my ain inseparable twin brother ‘ ( Melville 2008 p. 287 ) .
At this point in the narrative Queequeg and Ishmael are so burdened with responsibilities and danger that there is small clip to see the bond of love and chumminess between them. Queequeg in the scene of the monkey-rope is to occupy to even turn to Ishmael: there is no ground to believe he even thinks of Ishmael except as an abstract support, as he tries to hookA the giant, to maintain from being eaten by crowded sharks and to maintain from being hit by Tashtego and Dagoo as they flourish their whale spades amidst the sharks. Ishmael on board contemplates ‘poor Queequeg ‘s ‘ battle for life and equates it with his ain battle and that of all humanity.A He concludes ;
Well, well, my beloved companion and twin-brother, thought I, as I drew in and so slacked off the rope to every crestless wave of the sea – what matters it, after all? That unsounded ocean you gasp in is life ; those sharks, your enemies ; those spades, your friends ; and what between sharks and spades you are in a sad pickle and hazard, hapless chap ( Melville 2008 p. 289 ) .
This is non merely a in writing image about a depressive and negative attitude to the battle of being alive. Queequeg whilst contending of sharks and dodging whale spades is firmly fastened to his friend. He is non entirely and for that affair neither is Ishmael. Ishmael has the infinite to contemplate on the significance of life and being because his friend is on the giant ‘s back contending the sharks and dodging whale spades. Life and life is fraught and unstable if done in isolation but if thereA are two, although there is the world of danger there is the possibility of redemption if these dangers are non faced singlehandedly. This deep bond of trust and friendly relationship developed from an unexpected and un-welcome happening.
Throughout the saga, there is a apposition of metaphors wherein the connection of Ishmael and Queequeg is placed over against the disjunction of Ahab.A Ahab is a closed page, ruled by an compulsion. Ishmael and Queequeg are unfastened both to each other and universe external to them in a journey of geographic expedition and enlargement as opposed to Ahab ‘s inward turning destruction.A They approach the universe with wonder and courage.A Ahab closes out the universe with no perceptual experience salvage the devastation of the whale.A In contrast to the coda of Ahab ‘s quest where the rope attached to the harpoon, flung in rage and as a consequence his ain hatred andA lecherousness for vengeanceA is the vehicle of his ain devastation. In contrast to Ahab ‘s lunacy that unbidden takes Ahab, his crew and the Pequod to its decease, the bond between Ishmael and Queequeg is willing fastened. It is a bond of support and has both flexibleness and strength ; it is symbolic of a destiny that has its foundations in a chosen way, offering non the terminal of devastation, but the possibility of reasoned hazard, chumminess and redemption.
A A In the beginning of the narrative Queequeg and Ishmael are thrown together rather by accident, yet they become bound by a friendly relationship that cuts across lines of race, faith and background. Ishmael had travelled to New Bedford and arrived on a Saturday dark in December, excessively late to catch the shuttle boat to Nantucket. Unable to afford good diggingss, Ishmael stays at Spouter-Inn. The old landlord ‘Jonah ‘ informed Ishmael that he must kip in a bed with a dark-complexioned harpooneer. Reluctantly Ishmael resolves to travel to bed in the harpooneer ‘s room, merely to be awakened by a immense adult male come ining with an embalmed caput in his manus. The adult male, tattooed all over his organic structure, takes an graven image from his bag, worshiped it and jump into bed with a hatchet pipe between his dentitions. Ishmael ‘s fearful calls brought the landlord Peter Coffin ( called Jonah ) , who introduces Queequeg the man-eater as Ishmael ‘s bed spouse. Ishmael resigns himself to his destiny and slumbers soundly.
Their friendly relationship is untrammelled by Ishmael ‘s efforts to change over his friend to Christianity ; in fact, Ishmael engages in Yojo-worship for the interest of family, merely as Queequeg goes to hear Father Mapple. At first Ishmael ‘s biass have the upper-hand. Queequeg ‘s wonts of dressing, of worship, and of eating amuse Ishmael, but Ishmael eventually decides that Queequeg, despite is fierce visual aspect is a sort adult male. Queequeg says that Ishmael and he are married. The two portion pipes, narratives and a garden cart, and make up one’s mind to transport aboard the Pequod together. Although they are antonyms in some respects ; their whaling experience, thought procedures, and epic stature ; the two are bound on the Pequod by the monkey-rope, in a whaleboat in the Centre of the giant ‘s genteelness land, and through the coffin-turned life-buoy.
Possibly, the ground for the close bond between Ishmael and Queequeg is their naivete. Queequeg has written on his ain tegument a treatise of the celestial spheres, but he understands no more of this than of the book he picked up Spouter-Inn, merely to number the pages, in groups of 50. There was something lone and isolated in this undertaking, Although he was in the presence of Ishmael it was an act that Queequeg performed wholly on his ain, unmindful to the presence of any other. Later, after it became known that he and Ishmael would hold to portion a bed once more, this same act became a joint endeavor. The book was placed between them and Ishmael explained toA Queequeg the content of the book. The activity ends with a societal fume, wherein Queequeg produces the tomahawk-pipe and they sit, sharing whiffs from the pipe. After this shared fume, Queequeg announces that he and Ishmael are married. From Queequeg ‘s island place to be married means that he and Ishmael are now ‘bosom friends ‘ and if the demand should of all time originate, Queequeg would lief decease for Ishmael ( Melville 2008 p.46 ) .
Alien and alone, Queequeg is an embodiment ofA the unknown. Ishmael is able to recognize this, A to acknowledge it, and to gain that his fright of Queequeg was due to ignorance.A With this consciousness comes the farther realization that his desire to travel to sea is non merely about seeking consolation but is a agency of researching and encompassing the unknown within himself.A The friendly relationship between the two work forces, although troubled by bias, and decelerate to develop into a full apprehension of each other ‘s character, is solidified with their matrimony contract: the promise they have made that they will make this geographic expedition together.A They efficaciously become a twosome, exemplifying the full integrating of the distinctness that they both encounter in the brotherhood.
Subsequently in the narrative, a really sick Queequeg has the ship ‘s carpenter manner a casket for him, in the belief that he is deceasing. He carves a transcript of the tattoos on his organic structure onto the outside of the casket, but he does n’t decease and the casket is corked to be used as the ship ‘s lifeboat. It is this to which Ishmael clings after the Pequod is sunk in its concluding brush with Moby Dick, the exclusive subsister of the Ahabs journey of lunacy. This coffin-come-life-buoy is a powerful symbol of the life giving brotherhood between Queequeg and Ishmael. Their matrimony, affectingly symbolised by the monkey-rope, is the line of life of connection, a delicate nexus with saneness in a ship at sea with a captain purpose merely on retaliation on a leviathan from the deepnesss.
What kept my mounting into ‘Hanging Rock ‘ from going self-destruction was a finding to remain connected to an external world. The pinpoint of visible radiation that I followed was kindred to the monkey-rope ; it linked me with the outside universe and this in bend enabled me to see my ain parlous province. For Ahab there was no connexion to world, no monkey-rope, its antithesis his devilish baptism of the harpoon, associating him non to life but to his ain internal pandemonium, fanning the fires of his compulsion into an hell.
And merely I am escaped to state thee
In the quip to the epilogue, Ishmael likens himself to the couriers of Job, each of whom ends his study with the words “ And I merely am escaped to state thee ” ( Melville 2008 Epilogue ) . As a courier there is nil he can make, no action he can execute but as a informant of the devastation, he is able to give voice non merely to the terminal consequence of unchecked lunacy, compulsion, decease and devastation but besides of love, friendly relationship and redemption. As the lone subsister of the wreck of the Pequod, Ishmael survives but appears a alone figure, adrift on the Pacific Ocean. This loneliness emerges from his close brush with decease, through the unleashing of forces characterised by compulsion, ferociousness, subjugation and indurate neglect for all else.
Whaling was a bloody and barbarous matter. The call, ‘there ‘s fire in the chimney ‘ meant that the giant was spurting blood and death ; there was an hell on board to assist with the processing and decrease of the flesh from the afflicted animate being of the ocean deepnesss into oil for lamps, warming and cookery. The whalers killed the grownups, the pregnant, the calves ; none were spared. If there of all time was needed grounds of antediluvian leftovers in civilized society than the whaling industry is a revealing illustration. The saga and the industry have a coherency.
“ Moby Dick ” is full of sarcasm and symbolism: objects, individuals and actions are strongly charged with significance. It is dry that the Pequod is so decorated with baleen it is about like the giants that it must run. It is dry that a lifebuoy, a mark of life, should hold been made from a casket, a mark of decease. It is dry that the color white should be associated with immorality. The white giant is itself possibly the most puzzling symbol in the work. To restrict its significance to life, to nature, to truth, to evil or natural intelligence would be facile. The white giant, Moby Dick, is all of these things and much more, but most of all, the white giant is itself.
Ishmael, the storyteller of narrative, is a apparently undistinguished member of the crew. He is a mere opportunity runaway from the wreck of the Pequod, owing his endurance to destine. “ It so chanced that… I was he whom the destinies ordained to take the topographic point of Ahab ‘s bowsman ” ( Melville 2008 Epilogue ) . There was no evident ground for Ishmael ‘s endurance ; he was no better than anyone else on board but he survives because the destinies decided that the whaling ocean trip of Ishmael would stop in this mode. As Queequeg ‘s coffin-come-life-buoy British shilling to the surface, Ishmael grasps clasp of it and miraculously floats to safety, passed by the sharks and the sea hawks. The casket, covered in a “ mystical treatise on the art of achieving truth ” ( Melville 2008 p. 429 ) that Ishmael can non read or understand even as he holds fast to it, is Queequeg ‘s last gift to him. Queequeg ‘s indecipherable tattoos, transferred from his organic structure to the casket are a complex symbol for this profoundest of experiences. It is a gift of love transcribed in an unknown linguistic communication. Through keeping onto this unusual gift, Ishmael survives to bear informant to the cataclysmal terminal of the Pequod.