These are not typical of a character who participates in a story. The appearance of Ishmael as one who can foresee the future denies the story the legitimacy of being factual.
Ishmael is portrayed as one who can tell almost everything that is going to happen throughout the story long before they happen. For instance, he shows he is not contented about the voyage when he initially met Prophet Elijah at the shores. According to him, this adventure was going to be vague and not completely comprehendible.
In his opinion, they were only going for the voyage adventure because they had committed themselves to it. Otherwise, it was not worth the sacrifice considering that there were thousands of things that they did not really understand about the voyage Melville He did not believe that the search for the White Whale was going to be productive.
These occurrences portray Ishmael as one who could foresee the future, although he never acted to bend the arc of literature of the story. Towards the end of the story, Ishmael again foresaw the tragic death of the entire crew on voyage. Indeed, his earlier predictions come to pass when death finally snatches the souls of the entire crew and they have nothing to celebrate about their search for the White Whale.
Ishmael goes ahead to compare the voyage to a boat that is driven to unfamiliar lands by a strong wind. Although the boat knows that it is going to hit the rocks, it cannot reverse its fate by stopping to sail. The inconsistence of the character of Ishmael emerges when he appears to live in two different worlds in the same story. Although the narrator intended to portray him as an ordinary worker who honestly served in the Pequod, his later appearance as an omnipresent being betrays the whole trick.
There was no way an ordinary man could have the ability to see and understand everything that happened to all characters all the time, whether he was with them or away from them. Indeed, Ishmael displays extraordinary behavior when he shows the rare ability to read the minds of all his colleagues in the voyage.
Essentially, he assumes the omniscient character of a novelist and combines it with a fictional character who knows beyond what ordinary humans can possibly know. Brodhead also discusses the critical history of Moby-Dick and makes the interesting point that the revival of interest in Moby-Dick came at a time "When qualities like discontinuous or fragmented form, symbolic structure, stylistic thickness, and antitraditional experiment were established as literary values" 18 This goes to show that aesthetic standards are not eternal.
They are not set in stone. They change through the ages and, as they change, works become reevaluated, and people become capable of appreciating what appeared merely mysterious before. The novel never presents any settled opinions but is rather driven by an endless seeking and questioning of the universe, there is no settled mood that is not eventually disrupted by its opposite. The novel expresses moments of mystic calm followed by violence. The novel also flirts with relativistic nihilism in its presentation of the different perspectives on "The Doubloon" but even nihilism is only a temporary resting place that eventually gives rise to continued seeking.
The novel is a Romantic quest narrative, where an external quest becomes the image of an internal quest, but, according to McIntosh, it is unique in being a "multiple, not a singular, quest" 29 Each character is on their own unique quest and the White Whale does not signify the same thing to everyone.
Prophetic revelation is based on a double author of speech. Moby-Dick is not revelation in that sense. Ishmael never claims that God is inspiring the words he writes. However, there is also narrative revelation. Ishmael has to play many duel roles in the novel. Ishmael has to be both an outcast and a representative of human nature, he has to occupy the marginal space between the familiar and the unknown, and he has to speak "with the full authority of the culture whose authority he is out to subvert" 93 Melville has to walk a very fine line with Ishmael and it is a mark of his genius that he was so successful in creating a character that exists right on the line.
If Ishmael veered too far in either direction the novel would become a very different novel. If Ishmael was not an outcast to some degree, if he represented our quotidian selves entirely, we would be presented with a farce. Ishmael would be totally lost and out of place at sea. Perhaps we would see him trying to stick to his morning breakfast routine while the rocking ship knocked the bowls and plates off his table to comic effect. If, on the other hand, Ishmael was totally foreign, he could not represent our own human nature, he would be above and beyond us, or outside of us - like Ahab.
Ahab represents a possibility of human nature but he does not represent human nature in its universality, whereas, Ishmael makes the feeling for the ocean seem "fundamental to human nature itself" 74 Similarly, if Ishmael was not in some sense a representative of the culture whose authority he was out to subvert, our xenophobic defenses would go up, and Ishmael would seem aggressive, savage, and intolerant.
Even though, as Porter argues, Ishmael "aims to undermine our most basic and fixed assumptions and beliefs" most readers find Ishmael to be "genial, tolerant, open-minded" If Ishmael fell too far the other way, and simply represented our own culture, and not its subversion, then we would be presented with a novel about the strangeness and foreignness of other cultures in a way that would merely confirm us in the rightness of our own beliefs.
Moby-Dick and Religious Tradition by T. The contradiction arises from two claims, 1 That the world is governed by Providence, 2 That God is just and respects the moral integrity of human beings. The deist God of order is foreign to the revelation of Godhead - not as a "decorous city" but as the "ground on which the city stands, which reveals its strange hidden life when it moves" - that underlies the novel.
Wolf argues that the sublime in all three is not, as is often assumed, a loss of self in the unity of nature but, rather, the absorption of nature within the solipsism of the self. This process takes place through language. However, Melville is very careful to point out the limits and dangers of the sublime in that sense. The sublime is easily disrupted - by a precipitous fall from a mast-head or when Queequeg intrudes - and the result can be death.
Those who forget the outside - and forget that writing, or the attempt to recover the world in speech, relies on an outside that can never be fully absorbed - risk falling to their death in their moment of ecstasy.
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In Herman Melville's Moby Dick there is. In every great literary work there is a symbolic element that makes the author’s message more detectable to his readers. In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick there is the idea of the “counterpane” of humanity. Buy Essay College Essay Critical Essay Custom Essay Example Essay Free Essay Non. Moby Dick literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Moby Dick.
marketing concept papers Buy Essay Moby Dick write my paper writing an admission essay about yourself. This collection of essays on Moby-Dick reconnects Melville's great work with concerns that are central to readers in critical studies. Richard Brodhead introduces the volume with a discussion of the book's unique place in the canon of American literature.5/5(1).