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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


1. I decided to re-read the novel Moby Dick. The story is about a man named Ishmael who wants to become a whaler. He travels to New Bedford in hopes to find a whaling job. The little inn that he was going to stay at was full so he had to share a room with a random person, he is fine with that and his roommate is a man named Queequeg, a native Pacific Islander. The two like each other and decide to go on a whaling trip together. They find a ship that needs workers called the Peqoud and they sign up to go with the ship. The ship has a crazed captain by the name of Ahab who hasn't been the same since a sperm whale but off one of his legs. The ship then leaves on a cold December day and Captain Ahab sets off just to find the great white whale that took his leg, Moby Dick. They spot several whales but are unsuccessful in killing any and the crew starts to get tired of Ahab's foolish ways. Ahab has stowed away a special group of harpooners who he believes have a better chance I killing the white whale. A few weeks pass and the crew is able to catch a few whales but not enough because of Ahab's search for Moby Dick. The Peqoud runs into another ship where there is a prophet who says the hunt for Moby Dick will bring certain doom. The men continue to hunt and on a dark night a young deckhand by the name of Pip falls into the water and becomes mentally ill and soon becomes the prophetic child for the Pequod. They run into another ship whose captain has also lost a body part to the whale and Ahab doesn't listen to his warnings about how dangerous the white whale really is. One of Ahab's special harpooners predicts that Ahab will die trying to kill Moby Dick but Ahab still doesn't listen to his warnings. The ship then runs into a typhoon and many sailors are killed but Ahab will not rest until the whale is dead. This foreshadows what will happen to the captain. The ship finally runs into Moby Dick and battles it for 3 long days. The first day the whale destroys Ahab's whaling boat and nearly kills him, the 2nd day Moby Dick destroys Ahab's special harpooners ship and kills the leader of the mysterious men, and finally the white whale destroys the Pequod an kills everyone on it. The only survivor was Ishmael who stayed alive by floating in a coffin and got picked up by another whaling boat who was searching for men since Moby Dick attacked them.

2. The theme of the novel was no matter how hard you try to do something wrong to someone or something that does something wrong to you, you will end up being the one who has to deal with the harsh consequences.

3. The entire novel is written in a first person point of view by the narrator Ishmael. The tone of the story is very dark with many examples of how you cannot change fate. There are 3 instances where a so called "prophet" sees that someone will die. The crazy dude on the other boat predicted that if they chased the white whale everyone would die, and he was right. Another time the leader of the special harpooners predicted exactly how Ahab would die.

4. There are multiple instances of symbolism throughout the story. One example was the ship itself, it was a dark ship covered with whale bones and it just symbolizes death, it pretty much causes it. Another example of  symbolism is Moby Dick himself. He represents death and more of the unknown  side that you fear. Like I said earlier there is a lot of foreshadowing. The 2 main examples were when the crazy prophet dude predicted Ahab's death and then Feddalluh predicts exactly how how Ahab will die. Then there was various instances of personification where the author makes Moby Dick out to seem like a human. Another example of personification was how Melville made the ship seem like a living breathing thing by saying it "groaned and gasped" as it sailed around. Irony is also present throughout because the entire time Ahab is tryin to kill Moby Dick and in the end the white whale is the one who kills, and he kills Ahab.

1. First character I want to talk about is Ishmael. Even though he is the narrator of the story he doesn't really reveal much about himself. He kind of stays quiet throughout the novel and doesn't change very much. He is probably the most static/flat character  throughout the whole story. Captain Ahab is  the character who changes the most. At first he is just mad at Moby Dick for taking his leg but the deeper into the story and the more hardships he goes through to catch he white whale the more deranged the captain becomes. Moby Dick isn't an ideal character because we can't really see what he's thinking and why he does his actions. He doesn't really change but he seems more and more vicious until he eventually becomes te killer beast that he is feared to be.

2. Melville completely changes how he talks when the various characters speak. He speaks slang and goes on with long speeches when the sailors are speaking. This is because they talked differently at that time and he try's to recreate as closely as possible.

3. Ishmael was very flat because he hardly did anything throughout the story and at some points he seemed to just disappear. He was also static because he didn't really change by the end but he was the only person left alive.

4. I didn't really feel like I met anyone because it was kind of hard to relate to any of the characters. To me it just felt like I was reading a history book of some sort not a best selling novel.

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