It is in human nature to hold in contempt and fear things unidentified to them, on the other hand many people hold the pursuit of understanding as the one true course to fulfillment in life. The dangers of the pursuit of understanding are an underlying subject in Ishmael’s conversation of brit. Ishmael explains the sea as enigmatic and immensely more harmful than the land; in doing so reveals how trying to study the unidentified in the pursuit of knowledge is far more unsafe than staying oblivious.
In Ishmael’s conversation about brit he quickly wanders off the topic of the actual brit and begins to make contrasts in between the land and the sea. He specifies that even “though some old naturalists have maintained that all creatures if the land are of kind in the sea”(Melville 272), he has yet to see any animals of the sea that have the same beauty and compassion as domesticated animals. He reveals the fundamental absence of compassion or hospitability in oceanic creatures by making this declaration.
He goes on to say that,”nevertheless baby male may brag if his science and skill, and however much in a fluttering future that science and skill may enhance; yet forever and ever to the daybreak, the sea will continue to insult and murder him … guy has lost that sense of the awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it.”(Melville 273). This passage highlights the core of what Ishmael is attempting to explain in his argument. It exposes the scary and indomitable terror of the sea, which according to Ishmael people seem to have ignored and take for given.
He likewise belittles human’s in the passage calling them “baby man” showing how helpless he believes people are compared to the sea and how no matter just how much individuals advance they can not compare to the sea’s power. He goes on to broaden on this concept specifying the many ways in which the ocean’s scaries hold supremacy over all others such as the sea’s lack of grace and control as well as its tricking appeal and how “its most dreadful creatures slide under water unapparent for the many part and treacherously concealed underneath the loveliest azure”(Melville 274)
Underlying this description of the horror of the ocean is a caution; Ishmael tries to demonstrate how attempting to study the unknown in pursuit of understanding is even more hazardous than staying in a state of ignorance. Ishmael uses detailed description to over emphasize how terrifying the ocean is. This shows making use of storytelling and redefinition in order to get the audience image the terrors of the ocean and in doing so empathize with Ishmael’s beliefs. This shows Ishmael’s usage of pathos in his argument.
Ishmael besides explaining the ocean as a dangerous location he describes it as “an everlasting terra incognita” (Melville 273), this statement of the incapableness of man to unwind the secrets of the ocean shows the, nearly afraid, reverence he holds towards the ocean and its secrets. A respect he tries to impart upon the audience through the abovementioned usage of embellishment and redefinition, revealing an usage of pathos to make the audience have compassion with these sensations.
It appears that Ishmael would rather people not try to discover the unidentified rather than expose themselves to its risks. This appears when this extract, “For as thy dreadful ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of a male there lies one insular Tahiti, loaded with peace and joy, however included by the scaries of the half recognized life. God keep thee push not off from that island, thou canst never return!”(Melville 274). This is the conclusion to Ishmael’s discussion and exposes the reasoning for his declarations.
The “horrors of the half known life” including the “insular Tahiti” are the things individuals attempt to discover the world and themselves. Ishmael thinks that by venturing out into the sea of one’s soul guy exposes himself to all the dangers of the world. This shows how he thinks that it is better to remain on a peninsula of ignorance and comfort than venture out into the sea of understanding.
Ishmael urges people to stay in their little insular world threatened by what lies beyond. He believes that one will find less convenience in discoveries than in lack of knowledge and as such individuals ought to stay clear of the mysteries of the world.