Questions and Answers for Moby Dick

Moby Dick

In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, what happens to Moby Dick at the story’s end?

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

What is the main theme in Herman Melville's novel 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

What happens to Ahab, Moby Dick, and the Pequod at the end of the novel?  

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Describe the major conflict in the story of Moby Dick. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist?

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

2 educator answers

Moby Dick

In Moby Dick, why did Ahab seek revenge?

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

What do Captain Ahab and the whale symbolize in 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

Why does the crew choose to follow Ahab in his mission to kill Moby Dick? Herman Melville's 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

Read This Excerpt From Herman Melville’s Moby-dick. What Characteristic Of Romantic Literature Does It Contain?

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

What are the similarities between the story of Moby Dick and Jonah the prophet in the Bible (who was swallowed by a...

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

What are three events from "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

In what ways is Herman Melville's Moby Dick an allegory? What enlightenment does the ending of the novel reveal?

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What qualifies Moby Dick as romantic literature?

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

What does Ahab offer the crew member who spots 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What are some major conflicts in 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

According to Melville, what is the meaning in life and what does he tell us about man's ability to understand that...

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

Why does Ishmael alone survive at the end of Melville's 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

What exactly is the climax AND resolution to the novel Moby Dick? I am writing a paper and I am having trouble with...

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What inferences can you draw about Ahab's character when he says “Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the...

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

In Moby Dick, what is the meaning of the "sea," the "coffin" and the "doubloon."

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What are some personality traits of Ishmael in the first 3 chapters of 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What reward does Ahab offer his men if they capture the white whale in 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

Moby Dick Metaphor

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

3 educator answers

Moby Dick

What deeper meaning is suggested by Ahab's desire to "strike through the mask of things"?

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

In Moby Dick, what are Starbuck's misgivings about Ahab's pursuit of the great white whale?

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

How is Starbuck contrasted with Captain Ahab? Who do you think is right? Why?

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What is the major conflict in the novel 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What was the climax and the goal of 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What is the rising action and climax to the story 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

What are some of Ahab's greatest weaknesses?

Ahab is unable to rationally consider his actions and their potential consequences. He is consumed by the need to have revenge upon the whale and pursues his quarry without regard to the safety of...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2011 7:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

In Chapter 1 the author is mostly interested in? "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville

With one of the most famous sentences in all of literature, Herman Melville opens his narrative with "Call me Ishmael." With this line, Melville introduces the Biblical allusion of the son of...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2009 10:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What are the major story elements of 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What are the preternatural elements in 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Do you admire, despise, or pity Captain Ahab? Explain.

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Why does Ahab seek revenge in Herman Melville's Moby Dick?   What does Ahab offer the men if they help him kill Moby...

As mentioned in the previously posted quotation, Ahab seeks "that intangible malignity" that he believes is embodied in the White Whale. In a separate chapter (42), in fact, Melville considers the...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2009 11:32 am UTC

3 educator answers

Moby Dick

Who owns the "Pequod" in "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

Regarding the whale, Moby Dick, what is the significance of the whale's name (Moby Dick) in Herman Melville's novel...

The title of Melville's novel was inspired by a mercurial sperm whale that lived off the coast of Chile near an island called Mocha. This whale became well-known among mariners, for its aggressive...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2012 8:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

How is Herman Melville an anti-transcendentalist in 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

3 educator answers

Moby Dick

What does Starbuck symbolize in 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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Who is the antagonist in Moby Dick? I think that the real antagonist is Ishmael. 

I don't see Ishmael as either the protagonist or the antagonist in Moby Dick. Ishmael is the narrator, and as such he reminds me of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. It is Captain Ahab whose...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2014 12:21 am UTC

3 educator answers

Moby Dick

In Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, what happens to Moby-Dick at the story’s end?  

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick concludes with a three-day chase for the legendary white whale. Led by the relentless Captain Ahab, who lost ships and his leg to the monstrous whale, the chase is a...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2016 6:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Describe Captain Ahab in Moby Dick.

Ahab is set apart from all others by his personal experiences and singular focus on killing his adversary, the whale. In this light, Ahab is driven by demons that no one else can understand or...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2011 7:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What does Captain Ahab order the mates do with their lances?

You must be referring to the bizarre religious rite Ahab performs in "The Quarter Deck" chapter to consecrate his crew and ship in the quest to destroy Moby Dick. At one point, Ahab orders his...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2016 11:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What does Moby represent to Ahab, Starbuck, and the crew of the Pequod?

In Melville's Moby Dick, to all Moby Dick is a formidable force, but Starbuck, the Quaker, feels that it wrong for Ahab to seek vengeance upon a dumb brute: "to be enraged with a dumb thing,...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2010 11:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What figure of speech was found in Moby Dick, by Herman Melville? Please give page number and paraphrase the sentence.

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

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Why did Starbuck protest Ahab's intention to kill Moby Dick in Moby Dick?

Starbuck understands two things about Ahab's quest that lead him to protest. He sees that Ahab is bent on overthrowing the natural order (and defying God in the process) and he recognizes the...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2013 3:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What might the dents on ahabs furrowed brow symbolize? begging of story

It's a way of foreshadowing the outcome where Moby Dick rams the ship with his mighty forehead. The whale sinks the ship. Moby Dick is the alter ego of Ahab. (You could compare it to Hemingway's...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2009 2:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

What is the climax and resolution of the novel "Moby Dick"? the resolution

Herman Melville's dark classic "Moby Dick" reaches its climax after many long chapters on the anatomy of whale, the abnormal and evil connotations of white, and the strange introspections of the...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

HOW TO WRITE THE SUMMARY OF MOBY-DICK IN 10 SENTENCES  

While this seems an almost insurmountable task for such a voluminous novel, you will need to only consider the most important parts of the plot which really come at the end of Melville's tome....

Latest answer posted June 15, 2010 4:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

Ishmael, in Melville's Moby-Dick, at one point calls the novel the "draught of a draught." How is this comment...

This is a very intriguing question! The passage you quote occurs near the very end of Chapter 32: But I now leave my cetological System standing thus unfinished, even as the great Cathedral of...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2011 10:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

Moby Dick

In Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, what has happened to Ahab in his previous encounter with Moby-Dick?

Ahab had lost his leg to Moby Dick. In Chapter 41, Ismael relates the history of Ahab's encounter with Moby Dick. Moby Dick had been known to turn around on those who chased him; the great whale...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2015 8:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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