HomeAboutLogin
       
       
 

   
Moby Dick belongs to the first rank of world literature. Melville read widely and deeply within the Western tradition, and brought it all together in his complex masterpiece. Within the framework of a simple tale of obsession, Melville offers commentary on the corpus of philosophy, history, theology, and literature that is our inheritance. All of these themes swirl around the central question of the novel: should we affirm the world, with all of its evil, or should we defy it?

Ahab, memorably, chooses defiance, and staking his all on that defiance, literally disappears, all flags flying, into the whirlpool. The effect is stunning.

Along the way we meet different approaches to the central question embodied in the crew of the Pequod and the various ships she encounters on her long journey. Melville offers no one answer, but rather a piercing observation of the various human reactions to the problem of evil. Nathanial Hawthorne said of Melville that his curse was that he could neither believe nor disbelieve in God. In Moby Dick, we are drawn into the fury of Melville's wrestling match with God, and whether we believe, or don't believe, surely we are enriched by Melville's passionate struggle. The strongest expression of the struggle is Ahab, the epic figure who believes, but refuses to submit to the gods or to the fates. Is he the hero of the piece or the villain? However you view him, you won't forget him.

More on this Website

 
 
Moby Dick belongs to the first rank of world literature. Melville read widely and deeply within the Western tradition, and brought it all together in his complex masterpiece. Within the framework of a simple tale of obsession, Melville offers commentary on the corpus of philosophy, history, theology, and literature that is our inheritance. All of these themes swirl around the central question of the novel: should we affirm the world, with all of its evil, or should we defy it?

Ahab, memorably, chooses defiance, and staking his all on that defiance, literally disappears, all flags flying, into the whirlpool. The effect is stunning.

Along the way we meet different approaches to the central question embodied in the crew of the Pequod and the various ships she encounters on her long journey. Melville offers no one answer, but rather a piercing observation of the various human reactions to the problem of evil. Nathanial Hawthorne said of Melville that his curse was that he could neither believe nor disbelieve in God. In Moby Dick, we are drawn into the fury of Melville's wrestling match with God, and whether we believe, or don't believe, surely we are enriched by Melville's passionate struggle. The strongest expression of the struggle is Ahab, the epic figure who believes, but refuses to submit to the gods or to the fates. Is he the hero of the piece or the villain? However you view him, you won't forget him. More...

 
    Herman Melville, Writer of Moby Dick
  Herman Melville, Writer of Moby Dick
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851). Hi...
 
       
 
         
          2019 © Timeline Index | Webwork.Amsterdam