Our study guide is designed to help teachers and students better understand the story, its historical context, and explore what makes it an epic tale. Moby-Dick - The white bull sperm whale who is the object of all of Captain Ahab's wrath, the main antagonist in the novel. Ishmael - A crew member of the Pequod and narrator of the story.
Herman Melville was a writer of the Romantic period of American literature. The ship featured in the novel had 30 crewmembers, the exact number of states in the United States of America at the time Melville wrote the book. The varied crew members African, Polynesian, French, Chinese, and Americans stand for all humanity in general and for the melting pot of America in particular.
Preread Learn pertinent background information, such as Biblical history of names. Site Map Free Advice. Read Read the novel, divided into 6 sections, each with study guide and learning aids.
Sascha Morrell does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. This is a novel that announces itself as the tale of a whaling voyage, and expands from there as if to encompass the whole of existence. Its narrator, Ishmael, admits he is overwhelmed:.
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Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Moby Dick was a total flop at first.
The novel Moby Dick was the sixth novel published by Herman Melvillea landmark of American literature that mixed a number of literary styles including a fictional adventure story, historical detail and even scientific discussion. The story of the voyage of the whaling ship Pequodthe novel draws at least partially from the experiences of its author while a sailor and a harpooner on whaling ships before settling in New England as a writer. The whale was named as such after the Mocha Islands, the area where the whale was commonly sighted "Dick" was used simply because it was a common male name.
Veronica Faller WRPaper 3. Download this essay. Undeniably, Moby Dick is peppered with passages that comprise ambiguous homoeroticism, revenge for emasculation, and male unity, which suggests that fraternal bonds are an integral part of not only the plot of Moby Dickbut also the meaning of the novel as a whole.
Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. Short chapters. Although Moby Dick is often regarded, in the popular imagination, as a novel of interminable length, it is actually divided into rather short chapters—some of which are no longer than a couple paragraphs.