Moby Dick and its Biblical Allusions
“Scriptural Aspect of Moby Penis” 4/5/02 Moby Cock is an unique filled with many biblical allusions, and I feel highly that there are particular characters in the book that depict scriptural characters or express the very same circumstances in the Bible. In the start of the book, Dad Mapple provides a sermon to the sailors about Jonah and the whale. This story in itself has much significance and begins the book off with the idea that God and the Bible are very much a part of the story.
In specific there are a few primary characters that support the reality that they are symbolic to the Bible. First, Ishmael is the main character in the story and is the narrator through most of the book. He is extremely different from all of the sailors on the ship. He has class, intelligence, and he understands absolutely nothing about whaling or the sea. In the book of Genesis, Ishmael was an outcast “with everybody’s hand against him,” and in the book you see how he is various from the sailors due to the fact that of his little knowledge of whaling.
To even more analyze Ishmael’s scenario, he states he leaves to the sea to leave the anxieties that have actually ridden his life. Another part of Genesis tells us that Ishmael wasn’t Abraham’s true boy due to the fact that he was born through one of Abraham’s housemaids (apparently Sarai, his other half, was sterile) and ever since Isaac was born, Ishmael was shunned. Like in Moby Dick, Ishmael was looked down upon from the start because he didn’t have the history that other individuals on the boat had as sailors.
Ishmael is constantly various from everybody, and he looks at whatever in an interrogative method, so he considers Moby Penis as a holy mystical animal while Capt. Ahab thinks Moby Cock is pure evil. Moby Cock is the most complicated, undefined character in the book. However to try to comprehend this enigma, let’s look at what we understand about him. Moby Cock is a white, enormous sperm whale, the biggest and most feared by all beings in the sea. To Ahab, Moby Dick is the highest of all evil. To Starbuck, the chase the whale is an useless cause.
To Ishmael, the whale specifies mystery, mysterious, and holiness. Moby Cock’s whiteness can be linked with holiness and godliness, such as Revelation 1:14,” His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;” Much of revelation involves the color white, which has actually been traditionally a holy color and a color of prosperity as described in Ishmaels thorough description of the indescribable brightness that he saw when he caught sight of Moby Penis.
Another excerpt of Revelation shows the significance of white in the Bible, Revelation 4:4) “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Ishmael tries to explain brightness as, “which sometimes by its strength entirely overpowered all the rest; and yet so magical and well nigh ineffable was it, that I practically anguish of putting it in a comprehensible kind. It was the brightness of the whale that above all things appalled me.
However how can I intend to discuss myself here; and yet, in some dim, random method, explain myself I must, else all these chapters might be nothing.” So it seems as if the whiteness was the very same indescribable thing as is the brightness John saw in his Discovery, which he wrote for the Bible. We understand Moby Dick is unbreakable and like God, no one can touch him. So can we conclude Moby Dick represents God? I think that is one of the secrets that Melville leaves the reader to unfold on their own. He is symbolically the fantastic divine mystery.
Captain Ahab could be taken in different methods, such as good or evil. In this case he would be wicked considering he has the same name as King Ahab in the Bible. Ahab is like no other character in the book. At times, he does not have compassion or perhaps certain aspects of a complete personality, however perhaps the determination of his goals (vengeance on Moby Cock) compensates for his lack of character. Captian Ahab isn’t simply after the bulbber and oil of the whale, however he wants the glory and the sense that he can conquer everything.
The important things that keeps his engine pursuing Moby Penis is the truth that there is something higher than him, the “Great” Captain Ahab. Some refer this egotistical ness as hubris, something Greek tragedy (from the packet) Gods have, and that hubris is often the factor for their failure. Captain Ahab has so much confidence in going after Moby Cock that at one point he states “If guy will strike … talk not of blasphemy guy; I ‘d strike back at the sun if it insulted me … So not only is he determined, the only thing that makes him total is the satisfaction of striking hate and death upon this whale. To compare to the Bible, Captain Ahab resembles the King Ahab of 1 Kings. The Bible says in 1 Kings 16:33,” and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord than all Kings of Israel before him.” Throughout the book Ahab does only what will further his pursuit of the whale and in doing that, he sometimes disobeys the guidelines of religion, service, of good sense, and ignoring the prophecies, pleas against his cause, and experience (Moby Penis Package).
For instance, one part of the book explains a part where two ships meet to dock for a short time and when Ahab heard news of Moby Dick’s area, he instantly abandoned all plans of sailors interacting with the other boat and females, not even taking a second to breathe, since he was narrow minded with the white whale in vision. Like King Ahab has Elijah, Captain Ahab has Fedallah as prophets to warn the two leaders of difficulties ahead. Elijah proclaims disaster for King Ahab’s misdoings on him and his household.
Fedallah concerned Ahab, prophesizing the downfall of Ahab and his ship. This shows Melville’s concurrence of the Bible with his storytelling. As you can see, Ahab was punished in both the bible and Moby Dick. In The bible it states,(1 Kings 17:1)” And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the residents of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, prior to whom I stand, there will not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word … “
In conclusion, I think Melville certainly utilized meaning to spice up his story and likewise biblical allusions to give more sense to develop the climax of the story. I feel I have shown to you that these three characters, Moby Dick, Ishmael, and Captain Ahab were all linked to characters in the bible. Depending upon how deeply you look into the story, you can discover that meaning lies everywhere in this book which is why it is the “smartest” book for a high-school student to check out.