Foreshadowing of Death in Moby Penis
In Moby Penis, by Herman Melville, a repeating theme of death is seen throughout the book. A coffin appears at the beginning of the book and at the end of the book, Ishmael sees a big oil painting that foreshadows and represents lots of things and occasions that follow in the book, and Fedallah makes a prophecy discussing hearses and predicts Ahab’s death. Ishmael remains at The Sprouter-Inn, whose owner was a male named Peter Coffin. In the end, Ishmael holds on to a coffin for over a day up until rescued by another boat.
The image Ishmael sees includes numerous things seen later in the book, such as a whale and a dreadful storm. Fedallah’s prophecy of hearses and hemp show to be real. Moby Penis begins and ends with a coffin. At the beginning of the book, Ishmael talks to Peter Casket, the owner of The Sprouter-Inn, for a place to remain. He does not have any open rooms so Ishmael is required to space with Queequeg whom he does not meet till after he goes to sleep. When Queequeg walks in, Ishmael says, “Property manager, for God’s sake, Peter Casket! Property owner! View! Coffin! Angels! conserve me! (Melville, 23) This quote foreshadows the occasion later on in the story when Ishmael will once again need a coffin’s help. In the epilogue, it is described, “the casket life-buoy shot lengthwise from the sea, tipped over, and drifted by my side. Buoyed up by that coffin, for practically one whole day and night, I floated on a soft dirge-like primary.” (Melville, 552) In both circumstances, a coffin saves Ishmael. Ishmael research studies an oil picture in The Sprouter-Inn that foreshadows and symbolizes many things that are seen later on in the story. Melville explains the picture,
The photo represents a Cape-Horner in an excellent cyclone; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its 3 taken apart masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, remains in the enormous act of impaling itself upon the three mast-heads. (Melville, 11) The fist example of foreshadowing is that the painting is an oil painting and the whale hunters try to get the oil from the whales. The hurricane foreshadows the terrific storm which Ahab refuses to reverse from. The ship represents the Pequod and the 3 masts represent the 3 days to attempt to record the white whale.
The whale represents the white whale which Ahab look for. And the whale’s act of impaling itself anticipates the whale being harpooned and the death of everyone on the ship other than for Ishmael. Fedallah makes a prediction relating to Ahab’s death and of other things which will all become real. Fedallah says, “? two hearses must verily be seen by thee on the sea; the very first not made by mortal hands; and the noticeable wood of the last one must be grown in America? Hemp only can eliminate thee.” (Melville, 478-479) Fedallah’s prophecy proves to be real.
On the third day of the chase, Moby Penis is spotted with Fedallah on his back. Ahab then says, “Aye Parsee! I see thee once again.? Aye, and thou goest before; and this, this then is the hearse that thou didst pledge. However I hold thee to the last letter of thy word. Where is the second hearse?” (Melville, 545) After the whale fatally wounds the ship, Ahab realizes that the ship was the 2nd hearse. Ahab tosses one last harpoon at the whale, however the rope ended up being captured around his legs and he was hurled into the water and hurled to his death, which makes Fedallah’s whole prediction real.
In Moby Penis, by Herman Melville, there were lots of things that foreshadowed death for later on in the story. Ishmael research studies an oil portrait of a ship in a typhoon attacking a whale, which is a microcosm of Ishmael’s journey in the story. Fedallah made a prophecy about death that becomes true. And finally, the unique ends in death for all however Ishmael, who lives due to the fact that his good friend Queequeg’s coffin serves as a buoy, which emerges from the sunken Pequod. 684 words 5 quotations