Moby Dick

Moby Penis is a story about male’s abiding fascination and battle with the sea, and his desire to decipher the mysteries of the deep. The sea in Herman Melville’s 1851 unique ends up being the context within which the author explores extensive and universal themes about life and living. The story tells the story of vengeful captain as seen through he a stowaway sailor, Ishmael, who wanders and aboards the whaling ship, Pequod.

The Pequod is commandeered by a particular Captain Ahab, whom Ishmael fulfills just when the Pequod has actually gone to sea.

Later, Ishmael recognizes that Captain Ahab has more sinister plans which exceeded easy business undertakings. While the Pequod is a whaling ship and her team is expected to catch whales for trade, Captian Ahab means to use the ship and her crew to exact vengeance on a whale that has actually seriously hurt and damaged him. The whale’s name is Moby Cock, and the novel focuses on Ahab’s chase for this excellent creature amid the large and unforgiving sea, as translucented the eyes of young Ishmael. Ishmael plays no real role in the unfolding of the story; rather, he works as the author’s storyteller and the instrument by which the author expresses his extensive musings on whales, whaling, and whalers and the relationships that each has to the other.

Much academic discussion has been made on Moby Penis and the underlying styles that strengthen the story. As such, this paper plans to take on the story and frame the analysis within the context of one specific passage in the book. The particular quote goes: Possibly they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; however lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this preoccupied youth by the mixing cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic oceans at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, endless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, stunning thing that avoids him; every dimly-discovered, up-rising fin of some indiscernible kind, appears to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that just people the soul by continually flitting through it. (p. 152)

These words were informed by an experienced whaler to a young and impressionable lad, like an old male passing on his wisdom and life experiences to the next generation, in the hopes that they might glean valuable lessons from it. The whaler notifications that the young sailor has been heading out to sea for three years currently, without catching a single whale all those times. Hence the whaler goes to review the elusive whale and the relatively limitless look for them. “Possibly they were; or maybe there may have been shoals of them in the far horizon …”

At very first sight and provided the context of the book, it is obvious that the whaler is talking about whales in this line. The whaler waxes about the vastness of the ocean which somewhere in this immense area lie an abundance of whales, whales which he has spent all his life searching. However upon deeper analysis, one can see that the whaler is not simply speaking about whales. He is waxing about one’s look for dreams and the expect a better life, which one can spend a life time chasing without ever catching those precious dreams. On the other hand, those who stay true to the chase and never turn their back on the sea will become rewarded by a harvest of fulfilled dreams.

… However lulled into such an opium-like laziness of uninhabited, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity …” Again the whaler speaks of whales and why most of them are hard to find. The whaler mentions those who lose themselves in the vastness of the sea because of their youth and lack of direction. This possibly is a veiled cautioning to the young sailor that life can be misleading and deceitful, and those who are too negligent might find themselves irretrievably lost.

…”Takes the mystic oceans at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, endless soul, pervading humanity and nature; and every weird, half-seen, sliding, stunning thing that eludes him …” Here the whaler describes why whales can get lost. The whales are tempted by careless instincts to explore the unknown. Enticed by the mysteries and appeals of the deep, the whale may be coaxed into plunging into deep waters where he is not geared up with the capability to survive. Whales, being mammals, require oxygen to breathe, and as such, they need to break the surface area of the water every as soon as in a while.

When whales go unfathomable or explore too far, their oxygen reserves may run out too soon, and they lack air prior to they can swim to the surface. Young whales that are too negligent drown since they gave in to the temptations of the deep. In contrast, older whales, better and more knowledgeable, know how far they can enter the ocean. Again the whaler may extremely well be waxing about life, and how the impudence and lack of respect for the sea can lead sailors and whales alike to the everlasting embrace of the ocean’s depths.

…”Every dimly-discovered, up-rising fin of some indiscernible kind appears to him the personification of those evasive thoughts that just individuals the soul by constantly flitting through it.” This once again is an elaboration of the sly nature of looks; that physical kinds often belie its real nature. Typically the ones that can be found in the most attractive guises are those that are the most harmful in life, and whales, much like humans are tempted just the very same.

The passage gone over in this paper symbolizes the really essence of what the book is about. It discusses youth and dreams, and how such can be quickly lost and squandered. It also speaks about how whales, similar to humans, can fall under the illusion of invincibility and fall prey to all sort of temptations. The quote is likewise representative of man’s constant battle to understand and tame nature.

The whales, as described by the veteran whaler, are abundant, however offered the vastness of the sea, are hard to discover. The whales are likewise symbolic of all the important things that we are obsessed about, despite whether it is a futile chase or not. As Ishmael stated, “There is, one knows not what sweet secret about this sea, whose gently terrible stirrings seem to mention some concealed soul beneath …” (361) Perhaps, the whaler as he was stating those words is also waxing about his own life, and how it once was so loaded with guarantee. In the same token, he might also be speaking about Captain Ahab and how he has actually lost himself in the empty pursuit of revenge. The line which describes how whales might be lost may be representative of Ahab’s own disregard for his life and those of his team; he is consumed with the desire to precise revenge, and he will never ever discover rest till he satisfies the whale as soon as again. In that sense he is lost and drowning in his blind fascination with revenge.

The passage encapsulates the tremendous scope of Moby Dick as it tackles simultaneous social, religious, and personal concerns all in one novel. While the book is a story of adventure and a chronicle at sea, it is a tale of life and all the terrific and terrifying aspects of it. That the quote being evaluated in this paper provides itself to numerous interpretations mentions the character of the novel itself. Moby Dick can be different things to different people. A person’s analysis of the book likewise depends upon their existing circumstance and their perception of the story changes when their situation alters too.

Moby Dick is mainly heterogeneous and mutable, continuously moving and redefining itself (Brodhead 4) and does not provide itself to be limited to a specific literary category. And the fact that it is successful at being elusive, belongs of the character of the unique itself. Like the elusive Moby Penis, the unique itself is indefinable in the immensity of its scope. Nevertheless, while the novel deals with a myriad of themes, his option of the sea as the basic setting is discussed in Ishmael’s words, “If they however understood it, nearly all guys in their degree, some time or other, cherish really almost the exact same feelings towards the ocean with me.” (14) Certainly, the sea’s appeal is universal and it touches to some fundamental aspect of our typical mankind. By the sea, we feel intimations of our smallness and success all at the very same time.

Indeed, the book Moby Penis is filled with veiled and not-so-veiled philosophical musings about life and living. The sea has actually constantly been thought about symbolic of life and its surprise meanings and challenges. Moby Cock, while imaginary is not a product of the author’s imagination. Herman Melville understood what he was speaking about, having actually operated in a whaling ship when he was twenty-one years old.

Herman, similar to Ishmael, seems like an outsider of life, a castaway because of the situations of his lowly birth. It has actually often been said that Ishmael is Herman’s modify ego, through which Herman was able to reveal himself and all his ideas about his life. The sea in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick represents life, in all its splendor and enormity and the charm and risks that lie in its surface area. Like Ahab, all of us long to master our ship and victory over the beasts of the deep. Not because of large folly however since of our basic requirement to comprehend the unknown.


Melville, Herman. Moby Penis. Plain Label Books. 1851. Retrieved on December 13, 2007 from Brodhead, Richard. New Essays on Moby-Dick. Cambridge University Press. 1986.