Moby Dick Questions and Answers

Moby Dick

Herman Melville does not specify what happens to Moby Dick after the whale destroys the Pequod and all the whaling boats, killing everyone but the narrator Ishmael. Captain Ahab is caught in a...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2015, 6:56 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

One of the main themes (especially when viewed through a modern critical lens) in Moby Dick is race and racism. The harpooners, Queequeg (from the South Seas), Tashtego (a Native American from...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2017, 5:15 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

As with all literature, Moby Dick can be interpreted in many ways, but I would argue that its principal theme can be stated as some variation of "man's search for the impossible," or "man's search...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2018, 7:56 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In his quest to understand the preternatural quality of Moby Dick, Ahab pursues the white whale through the seven seas, for he desires to break through "the pasteboard mask" of the visible object....

Latest answer posted November 10, 2010, 12:02 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

At the end of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the White Whale (Moby Dick) rams into the Pequod, sinking her and killing all aboard, except Ishmael. Ahab also perishes when he gets tangled up in a...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2016, 11:49 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Captain Ahab seeks revenge against the white whale that he perceives as a supernatural creature of malice. At one point in his narrative, Ishmael describes Captain Ahab: "While his live leg made...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2018, 3:27 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The main conflict of the story is Captain Ahab's hunt for the whale Moby Dick. A conflict is what causes tension in a story, and Ahab's hunt causes this tension for himself and for the rest of the...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2018, 8:10 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Ishmael is both the protagonist and narrator of the story. As evidenced by his own words, he is a man who craves adventure and welcomes testing his wits against any respectable adversary. He is...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2015, 5:45 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

When Captain Ahab calls all of his mariners to come aft, they assemble, and he lays out the great undertaking upon which they are soon to embark. Most of the men are convinced of their duty by...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2019, 6:23 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The Romantic rebellion in the arts began under the primary influence of the French Revolution in Europe and caught fire in England with the poets Byron, Shelly, Keats, Coleridge, and Wordsworth as...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2019, 7:07 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

If by “events” you mean major plot points, one such event could be Ishmael’s shipping aboard the Pequod in chapter 16—Ishmael has made friends with Quequeg, the savage harpooneer, and Quequeg is...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2018, 11:40 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Just to clarify some plot details in relation to your question, the hunt for Moby Dick, the white whale, was not Ishmael's first attempt to catch a whale. Before encountering Moby Dick, the Pequod...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2019, 6:19 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Moby Dick has been interpreted in several ways as an allegory, a narrative in which the characters and events are symbolic or metaphoric for deeply meaningful abstract ideas or qualities; that is,...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2015, 11:15 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

On the first page of Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, the author uses allusion twice. The first line is "Call me Ishmael." This is an allusion to the Biblical story of Abraham and Sarah who want a...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2011, 12:38 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Long a motif in American literature, innocence with the term "American Adam" emerged from the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville,and even Poe. Stepping onto the shores of America,...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2013, 6:33 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The classic novel Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville, tells the story of the obsessive search by Captain Ahab for the white whale who took off half his leg. Early in the voyage aboard the...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2018, 1:43 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

One important, if practical, reason for Ishmael's survival is that it is through him that we know anything about Ahab and the hunt for Moby Dick at all—no Ishmael, no story. Ishmael functions as...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2017, 12:33 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

White is traditionally associated with innocence and purity. Though Moby Dick may be a fearsome creature, like all animals, he only acts out of instinct. Contrary to what Captain Ahab might think,...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2018, 6:39 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Moby Dick is not actually a white whale. He just has a white head. This must mean that the rest of him is the same color as other whales. Captain Ahab gives a very explicit description of Moby Dick...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2015, 6:53 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In Moby Dick by Herman Melville, there are motifs, symbols and themes. The sea is a motif that runs throughout the story. A motif is defined as a recurring idea or image that is a single word or...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2010, 11:15 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In Chapter 36 of Moby Dick, Captain Ahab calls the entire crew together on the quarter deck and makes the following announcement: "All ye mast-headers have before now heard me give orders about a...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2015, 8:23 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

There are actually several Biblical allusions in Moby Dick. One is the allusion to the story of Jonah. The story of Jonah centers specifically around God calling Jonah to do a job, which Jonah is...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2010, 1:22 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In my opinion, the climax occurs on the third day of battle with Moby Dick, when the whale rams the Pequod and sinks it. Ahab is caught in a harpoon line and dragged out of his boat to his death....

Latest answer posted January 23, 2010, 5:09 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The "Dark Romanticism" in Moby Dick is also closely related to the love of the sublime that English and American writers from the late-1700s to the early-1800s relished (primarily the Gothic...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2011, 4:45 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The major story elements of this novel can be summarized as follows: Setting: The story takes place almost entirely at sea with the important characters all aboard the Pequod, Captain Ahab's ship....

Latest answer posted July 23, 2013, 7:08 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Although Ishmael is only a junior member of the crew of the whaling ship Pequod, his narration provides a steady and reliable frame of reference and point of view from which the reader can see,...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020, 3:36 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

A deeply metaphysical text, Herman Melville's Moby Dick is in Melville's words, "a wicked book." By that Melville seems to mean that he, like his Captain Ahab, has sought what lies behind the eyes...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2011, 5:29 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In Chapter XXXVI, Ahab says, "I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2008, 12:41 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In his famous speech on the quarterdeck, Captain Ahab angrily responds to Starbuck's claim that it is sinful to take revenge on an animal, an animal that's incapable of willful cruelty. But Ahab...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2018, 5:50 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Melville addresses many of the same themes and concepts in his novel as the transcendentalists. Ahab, for instance, like the transcendentalists, believes that nature is an outward manifestation of...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2018, 12:55 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

In chapter 36, “The Quarter Deck,” Ahab tries to convince Starbuck to share his quest for vengeance against Moby Dick. Starbuck is shown to be a model whaleman and a hard-headed practical thinker....

Latest answer posted July 15, 2018, 11:48 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The largest conflict is between Ahab (and, to some extent, his crew) and the whale Moby-Dick. While this is the central conflict that drives the novel, there is also a persistent conflict between...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2016, 11:32 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

An examination of the preternatural elements in Herman Mellville’s novel Moby Dick should begin with a basic understanding of the term preternatural. The word itself differs from the concept of...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2020, 8:20 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The answer above is important and marks a pivotal point in the novel, as Ahab shares some of his "reasoning" behind wanting to kill Moby Dick. Ahab's idea that the whale is evil emerges after...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2017, 2:44 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

This is a great question, because it's easy to do all three, even during the course of a single chapter. However, I actually primarily pity Ahab, because I see him as a tragic, nearly...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2016, 5:20 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The rising action are the points in the plot and the description of characters that lead to suspense and to the climax. In Moby Dick, much of the book contains the rising action, starting with...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2016, 11:33 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Ahab has no qualms about his words or decisions. As long as his pride is intact, his conscience is going to be guiltless. We can infer his character's loose conscious when we look at the religious...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2018, 5:26 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Starbuck represents a kind of rationality, and conventional Christian morality, in contrast to Ahab’s personal revenge-centered worldview. Starbuck is the one who is able to question Ahab’s quest...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2016, 11:27 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

As a creature who is part of the vast universe that has many meanings, so too does Moby Dick have different meanings for different characters in Melville's novel. These different meanings serve to...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2010, 7:47 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The climax of Moby Dick is most certainly when Ahab finds the white whale and, after three days of "giving chase," plunges his harpoon into Moby's side only to get caught around the neck with the...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2009, 12:24 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Captain Ahab offers the princely reward of a gold doubloon to any crew member who spots Moby Dick. Doubloons were Spanish gold coins and were considered quite valuable. They were widely used in...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019, 8:48 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The doubloon is a gold coin, worth about "sixteen dollars" according to Ahab, minted in Ecuador. Ahab nails the coin to the mast and declares that it will go to the man that first sights Moby Dick....

Latest answer posted September 29, 2019, 1:59 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Bildad and Peleg are the two main owners of the ship. Readers are first informed about the Pequod's ownership in chapter sixteen. Ishmael is looking for a ship to join, and he comes across the...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2017, 10:41 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The "grande programme" is predestination. This is mentioned by Ishmael towards the end of paragraph 10 in Chapter 1: And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grande...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2016, 7:35 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

Certainly a pivotal chapter in Moby Dick, Chapter 36 provides the readers their first insight into Captain Ahab, who reveals to his crew the purpose of the ship's voyage. He immediately takes...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2014, 10:10 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The mate/harpooner pairings are as follows: Starbuck's harpooner is Queequeg, the south sea islander Ishmael shares a room with in New Bedford. Stubb's harpooner is Tashtego, the Native American....

Latest answer posted February 27, 2021, 1:44 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The central conflict in this novel is defined by the pursuit of the white whale, Moby Dick. Other conflicts are developed and resolved over the course of the book, but Ahab's pursuit of the whale...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2013, 2:49 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

There are many ways in which The Scarlet Letter and Moby-Dick contain Dark Romanticism and accompanying preternatural events. Remember, Dark Romantics are interested in sin, self-destruction, and...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2020, 10:32 pm (UTC)

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Moby Dick

One highly significant passage in the early parts of Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick is the passage in Chapter 10 when Ishmael explains his attitude toward Queequeg’s worship of an idol: I was a...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2011, 9:55 am (UTC)

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Moby Dick

The basic narrative outline of Moby Dick is really very simple. The story consists of an expedition led by a deranged whaling captain called Ahab, who's determined to exact revenge on a great white...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2020, 11:34 am (UTC)

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