Moby Dick Analysis

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In Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, symbolism is abundantly used in order to portray his main message. Through his many characters he is able to introduce the conflict by creating symbols with each character’s actions and physical appearances. The main character, Ahab, establishes the main conflict between him and nature as well as him and himself. Ahab represents the human desire to control nature as he battles the Great White Whale in addition to his uncontrollable obsession. In a wooden whaling boat out at sea, Ahab and his crew are preparing to attack the Great White Whale, Moby Dick. Previously, Ahab had an encounter with Moby Dick which left him with an obsession for power. During his first encounter, Ahab was left permanently disabled after losing his leg. This fuels his determination to kill the whale and prove his power. Also this causes a growing conflict between Ahab and himself. He is always trying to prove to himself that he is superior. However, in the end, the whale wipes out all but one of the crew members. The ship is wrecked and Ahab is killed. Ahab’s personality and physical characteristics introduce many symbols. One of which is the pegged-leg of Ahab. It gives the reader a true sense of his resiliency as well as his determination to seek revenge on the whale. It makes it seem as if Ahab is someone who is immortal or someone who believes that they are immortal. Because of this, mortality is seen as another symbol. He approaches his conquest as if he is someone who will always prevail and is dominant to the “indestructible” whale. However, Ahab is over come by the strength of the whale and his destroyed along with his crew. In addition to Ahab, his crew also creates a symbol. All of the members of the Pequod's crew have some type of biblical sounding name. The names together suggest that Melville, the author, is portraying

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