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Moby Dick Junk Essay, Research Paper
Defects in Melville
Melville concerns himself with making a study of the defects of characters. In Moby Dick, each character has his own defect ? Starbuck is too conservative; he lacks the forthrightness to execute his proper and well-developed moral principles. Stubb is too indifferent to what makes itself plain to him as evil. Flask lacks any moral sense and feeds on the excitements life has to offer.
Billy Budd centers even more clearly on the distinctive ways in which defects spoil characters as they act in the world. Billy is offered as the perfect man, physically and morally, excepting the one defect that bridges both: his inability to give voice to “sudden, … strong heart-felt feeling.” Captain Vere, very much like Starbuck, lacks something, I can’t remember what now. And the sneaky guy ? what’s his name? ? has reason and will, but is morally dispicable.
Signs and Speech, Nietzsche and the Amoral, Historicity
How to communicate?
How to decypher?
“He too worships fire; most faithful, broad, baronial vassal of the sun ? Oh that these too-favoring eyes should see these too-favoring sights. Look! here, far water-locked; beyond all hum of human weal or woe; in these most candid and impartial seas; where to traditions no rocks furnish tablets; where for long Chinese ages, the billows have still rolled on speechless and unspoken to, as stars that shine upon the Niger’s unknown source; here, too, life dies sunwards full of faith; but see! no sooner dead, than death whirls round the corpse, and it heads some other way. ?” [p. 552]
Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago. [p. 637]
The sea is Death or Nothingness; the sun the life-giver or (Being?). In the context of death there can be no meaning: the world is “most candid and impartial” with regard to it. Likewise, there are “to traditions no rocks to furnish tablets.” There is no truth, no meaning, only death. Yet always life emerges newly out of death and resurrects its own timeless struggle with meaninglessness: immediately following the ‘all-collapsing’ catastrophe of death on 637, life emerges miraculously:
The drama’s done. Why then here does any one step forth? ? Because one did survive the wreck. [p. 637]
As the final three days of the chase approach, the Pequod’s voyage becomes progressively more unruly. Ahab destroys the quadrant in a mad fit; the typhoon inverts the compass needles; the log and line are rotten and defective, as is the life-buoy. Perth, the carpenter, has important commentary hereupon:
“Now I don’t like this. I make a leg for Captain Ahab, and he wears it like a gentleman; but I make a bandbox for Queequeg, and he won’t put his head into it. Are all my pains to go for nothing with that coffin? And now I’m ordered to make a life-buoy out of it. It’s like turning an old coat; going to bring the flesh on the other side now. I don’t like this cobbling sort of business ? I don’t like it at all; it’s undignified; it’s not my place. Let tinkers’ brats do tinkerings; we are their betters. I like to take in hand none but clean, virgin, fair-and-square mathematical jobs, something that regularly begins at the beginning, and is at the middle when midway, and comes to an end at the conclusion; not a cobbler’s job, that’s at an end in the middle, and at the beginning at the end. It’s the old woman’s tricks to be giving cobbling jobs.” [p. 584]
Perth, like everyman, wants a mathematical beginning, middle, and end, but cannot have it except by self-delusion, which he refuses. In the Pantheist vision, there can be no such distinction in the life of anything, for the beginning of the coffin is the tree, and the disease that nearly killed its owner, and the earth that nourished the tree, and the many dead things that went to make up the earth.
Can pursuit of Moby Dick be said to have a beginning?
- ... most consequential decisions of Moby Dick. Although the rest of ... boat when they hunt down Moby Dick, showing a empathetic side ... These two climatic chapters of Moby Dick illustrate Melville?s views on ... Melville ultimately professes in Moby Dick is the fact that ...
- ... Pequod is to kill Moby Dick. Moby Dick is a gigantic sperm ... seafaring and the whale Moby Dick. Instead, Moby Dick is a story ... The great White Whale, Moby Dick, symbolizes many different things ... existence. Another thing Moby Dick can represent an unreachable ...
- ... further in their superstitions; declaring Moby Dick not only ubiquitous, but immortal ... a religious interpretation. The whalers proclaim Moby Dick to be immortal, in spite ... other passages in Moby Dick which suggest the possibility that Moby Dick could be ...
- ... to get revenge against Moby Dick. The most obvious and ... peculiar. The location of Moby Dick just happened to coincide ... is when Moby Dick smashes Ahab’s boat. After Moby Dick was spotted, ... be remembered as jolly. Then Moby Dick hits the ship, “Retribution ...
- ... for them is that Moby Dick is intelligent unlike any ... fulfilled. Ahab dies after shooting Moby Dick with a harpoon. After ... his broken leg by killing Moby Dick. Queequeg- Queequeg is a ... that Ahab controls him. Moby Dick- Moby Dick was a white wrinkled sperm ...
- ... mast head, Ahab spots Moby Dick and earns himself the ... attack Moby Dick head on this time, but again, Moby Dick is ... the water, Ahab sees Moby Dick breach. Seeing Fedallah strapped to ... saves Ishmael. Commentary Whether Moby Dick the whale continues to swim ...