White Whale in Moby-Dick



Herman Melville is a famous American novelist during the romantic period, and an influential figure in the world literature history. Moby-Dick, his representative work, has been a “bright pearl” in the literary treasury of the world. Moby-Dick, or The whale, Melville’s masterpiece, is the epic story of the whaling ship Pequod and its “ungodly, godlike man”. Captain Ahab, whose obsessive quest for the white whale Moby-Dick, leads the ship and its men to destruction. This work, a realistic adventure novel, contains a series of meditations on the human condition. Whaling, throughout the book, is a grand metaphor for the pursuit of knowledge. Realistic catalogues and descriptions of whale and the whaling industry punctuate the book, but these carry symbolic connotations. Melville uses the symbolic methods in the novel and makes the novel full of the permanent artistic charm and the literary value above time and space. This paper focuses on the analysis of the main characters—Captain Ahab and the whale Moby-Dick.


Ahab; Moby-Dick; Heroism; Harmony; Nature

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Bai, F. X. (2007). On the duality of captain Ahab’s character in Moby-Dick. Journal of Henan Normal University, (02). (In Chinese).

Bryant, J. (1986). A companion to Mellville studies. West-port: Greenwood.

Melville, H. (2003). Moby-dick, or the whale. Bantam Classic.

Robert, L. (2001). The Cambridge companion to Herman Melville. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Vanspanckeren, K. (1994). Outline of American literature. Liaoning Education

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.ccc.1923670020130906.H723


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