O n 5 August a party of writers and publishers climbed Monument Mountain in Massachusetts, during the American equivalent of a hike in the Lakes. Melville, who was just 31, had never met Hawthorne. But after a day in the open air, a quantity of champagne, and a sudden downpour, the younger man was enraptured with his new friend, who had "dropped germinous seeds into my soul".
InHerman Melville published an account of a white whale that rampaged through the high seas. The beast, known as Moby Dick, destroyed numerous boats and cost many sailors their lives. The end of Melville's account saw Moby Dick disappearing into the ocean.
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It is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ishmael, who turns to the sea for meaning, relays to the audience the final voyage of the Pequoda whaling vessel. Amid a story of tribulation, beauty, and madness, the reader is introduced to a number of characters, many of whom have names with religious resonance. The Pequod sets sail, and the crew is soon informed that this journey will be unlike their other whaling missions: this time, despite the reluctance of Starbuck, Ahab intends to hunt and kill the beastly Moby Dick no matter the cost.
It was Oct. Today, because the work is in the public domain, it is easier to read the original than ever before; it can be found online in countless places. Here, get started with the first chapter.
By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. A great herd of readers profess devotion to Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dickbut novelists especially seem to love saying they love it. But perhaps they all love a different Moby-Dick.
Still frequently assigned reading in school, " Moby-Dick " is a polarizing novel for many reasons: Its huge vocabulary, usually requiring at least a few trips to your dictionary; its obsession with 19th-century whaling life, technology, and jargon; the variety of literary techniques used by Melville; and its thematic complexity. Another reason the book intimidates, of course, is the cast of characters, which includes the dozens of crew members of the Pequod, many of whom have a role in the plot and symbolic significance. Melville actually worked on whaling ships in his youth, and his depictions of life on board the Pequod and the men who worked under Ahab have the ring of complex truth.
Sign in. Watch now. The sole survivor of a lost whaling ship relates the tale of his Captain's self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale, Moby Dick. The sole survivor of a lost whaling ship relates the tale of his captain's self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale, Moby Dick!
The book is sailor Ishmael 's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahabcaptain of the whaling ship Pequodfor revenge on Moby Dickthe giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissancethe work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in
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.