Fate and predestination are 2 totally different themes found in Herman Melville’s Moby Cock. Fate and predestination are not one and the same. Although many people may unknowingly utilize the terms interchangeably, there is a very genuine and unique distinction. Fate is figured out by guy, and is completion outcome of a free choice action. In Moby Penis, Ahab’s free choice and belief that he is driven by fate identifies his own fate, the fate of his crew, and leads to the inescapable damage of the Pequod.
Melville typically utilizes importance to suggest the existence of fate. The Pequod itself is a symbol of the unfortunate journey to dominate the fantastic white whale. On the other hand, predestination is a doctrinal teaching in which God predetermines the result of all events. One assumption of predestination is that God will save some souls while condemning others to eternal damnation. If that distinction is made and held to be true, then fate exposes the possibility that free choice by man exists, while predestination eliminates all of it together.
And, freewill is important in setting the numerous complex styles in Moby Penis. Moby Dick is told by a sailor known only as Ishmael. The story opens: “Call me Ishmael. Some years back– never ever mind for how long precisely– having little or no money in my handbag, and nothing particular to intrigue me on shore, I believed I would cruise about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation.
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a wet, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily stopping briefly before coffin storage facilities, and bringing up the rear or every funeral service I satisfy; and particularly whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong ethical concept to prevent me from intentionally entering the street, and systematically knocking people’s hats off– then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for handgun and ball. With a philosophical grow Cato tosses himself upon his sword; I silently take to the ship.
This long passage informs the reader all that is needed about Ishmael. First, he’s informed and intelligent. Perhaps he is an instructor. He discusses whaling ships being his “Yale College and Harvard.” So, Ishmael is qualified to function as storyteller for the tale. He is also philosophical. Throughout the story Ishmael reviews life aboard the Pequod. He also delves into all sorts of scholastic subjects in addition to theology, free choice, morality, destiny and fate. However, Ishmael isn’t going to sea to discover himself. In fact, he thinks all guys on whaling ships are lost.
Whaling is an inherently dangerous occupation, so taking a berth aboard a whaling ship is Ishmael’s effort to commit suicide. Paradoxically, he makes it through. Ahab and Ishmael are revers of each other. Ahab passes away and Ishmael lives. Basically, Ishmael is needed to narrate the story due to the fact that he is the reverse of Ahab who is driven by what he believes to be predestination. Ishmael is attempting to develop his own fate by killing himself. But, he is still more philosophically grounded than Ahab. For instance, in Chapter 96 Ishmael has an image about fantasizing and suicide: “There is a knowledge that is concern; however there is a problem that is madness.
And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and skyrocket out of them again and become undetectable in the warm spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the canyon, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still greater than other birds upon the plain, even though they skyrocket.” He can see both the actual as well as the metaphorical meaning in this image. Ahab can’t make the distinction. Ishmael has been to sea before and isn’t driven by fate, but he does understand whaling is a dangerous company in which injury and death can happen.
So, through an act of free choice he is tempting his own fate. However, Ishmael in the course of his narrative does make lots of recommendations to fate. As described, the whaling vessel Pequod is a sign of doom. Dismal, black and decorated with whale teeth and bones, the Pequod is a drifting coffin called after a Native American people that didn’t survive long after the Europeans arrived in North America. It needs to be kept in mind that there are times in the story when Ishmael vanishes for long stretches and change by soliloquies often provided by Captain Ahab.
Ahab is the one-legged captain of the Peqoud. From the time his leg is bitten off by a whale during a previous journey, he has actually pursued the huge white whale. Moby-Dick is Ahab’s bane which is misconstrued, strange, and tough to translate. However Ahab tries to do just that; his efforts are futile and ultimately fatal. In reality, Ahab analyzes the whale as being the physical incarnation of evil living in the world and believes against common sense that he can defy the natural world and damage the whale.
“All that many maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all reality with malice in it; all that fractures the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were noticeably personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Penis. He stacked upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his entire race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.” This quote, from Chapter 41 indicates that Ahab lacks the capability to understand the world around him.
Ahab can’t see that the loss of his leg is a result of his harmful profession, but, only sees it as evil persecuting him. As a result, he believes it is his unavoidable destiny to damage the evil. And, this soliloquy from Chapter 37 show’s Ahab’s over confidence and belief that he is predestined to damage the whale. “Come, Ahab’s compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye can not swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! guy has ye there. Swerve me? The course to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run.
Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under gushes’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way! “Ahab does a number of other things in this passage too. First, he is attempting to motivate his crew to assist him in his quest. Finally, and more significantly, Ahab he feels he has no control over his habits. In the end, it is Ahab’s irrational behavior and free choice, which he very much had control over, that led to his death, the destruction of the Peqoud, and demise of the team.
For that reason, predestination had absolutely nothing to with the damage of the ship and crew. Even in his last moments Ahab believed it was predestination that destroyed him. “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying however unconquering whale; to the last I come to grips with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and because neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though connected to thee, thou damned whale!
Therefore, I quit the spear!” Ahab curses the whale and his fate as he is going under. Moby Dick disappears and everyone goes under except Ishmael. Moby Penis is an intricate tale with too many styles and complexities to explore in simply four pages. Nevertheless, it would have been very difficult to tell the story any in a different way than what Melville did. Ahab didn’t understand fate or predestination. Yes, he believed he was predestined to dominate evil, however that was just due to the fact that his view of the world was so literal, he couldn’t see it any other way.
If he did have a clearer view of life and the world, he would have seen that losing his leg was an occupational threat and would never ever went have gone off on a monomaniacal quest in the first place. Right up until the moment he started to go under the water, Ahab couldn’t see how his own dangers could lead to his death, and he didn’t think he would ever lose his mission to eliminate the whale and get rid of evil. Ishmael knew the risks included from the very beginning of the trip. That was his motivation for going on the journey. So, man developed the twist of fate that permitted Ishmael to survive and Ahab to perish.