Moby Dick is a novel filled with many scriptural allusions. and I feel strongly that there are certain characters in the book that portray scriptural characters or show the same state of affairss in the Bible. In the beginning of the book. Father Mapple gives a discourse to the crewmans about Jonah and the giant. This narrative in itself has much symbolism and starts the book off with the impression that God and the Bible are really much a portion of the narrative. In specific there are a few chief characters that support the fact that they are symbolic to the Bible.
First. Ishmael is the chief character in the narrative and is the storyteller through most of the book. He is really different from all of the crewmans on the ship. He has category. intelligence. and he knows nil about whaling or the sea. In the book of Genesis. Ishmael was an friendless “with everyone’s manus against him. ” and in the book you see how he is different from the crewmans because of his little cognition of whaling. To farther examine Ishmael’s state of affairs. he says he escapes to the sea to go forth the depressions that have ridden his life. Another portion of Genesis tells us that Ishmael wasn’t Abraham’s true boy because he was born through one of Abraham’s amahs ( purportedly Sarai. his married woman. was sterile ) and of all time since Isaac was born. Ishmael was shunned. Like in Moby Dick. Ishmael was looked down upon from the beginning because he didn’t have the history that other people on the boat had as crewmans. Ishmael is ever different from everyone. and he looks at everything in an interrogative manner. so he thinks of Moby Dick as a sanctum cryptic animal while Capt. Ahab thinks Moby Dick is pure immorality.
Moby Dick is the most complicated. vague character in the book. But to try to understand this mystery. let’s expression at what we know about him. Moby Dick is a white. monolithic sperm giant. the largest and most feared by all existences in the sea. To Ahab. Moby Dick is the highest of all evil. To Starbuck. the pursuit after the giant is a bootless cause. To Ishmael. the whale defines enigma. unaccountable. and sanctity. Moby Dick’s whiteness can be linked with sanctity and godliness. such as Revelation 1:14. ” His caput and his hairs were white like wool. every bit white as snow ; and his eyes were as a fire of fire ; ” Much of disclosure involves the colour white. which has been historically a holy colour and a colour of prosperity as described in Ishmaels in-depth description of the indefinable whiteness that he saw when he caught sight of Moby Dick. Another extract of Disclosure shows the importance of white in the Bible. Revelation 4:4 ) “And unit of ammunition about the throne were four and 20 seats: and upon the seats I saw four and 20 seniors sitting. clothed in white array ; and they had on their caputs Crowns of gold. ”
Ishmael tries to depict whiteness as. “which at times by its strength wholly overpowered all the remainder ; and yet so mystical and good near ineffable was it. that I about desperation of seting it in a comprehendible signifier. It was the whiteness of the giant that above all things appalled me. But how can I hope to explicate myself here ; and yet. in some dim. random manner. explicate myself I must. else all these chapters might be naught. ” So it seems as if the whiteness was the same indefinable thing as is the whiteness John proverb in his Disclosure. which he wrote for the Bible. We know Moby Dick is indestructible and like God. cipher can touch him. So can we reason Moby Dick represents God? I think that is one of the enigmas that Melville leaves the reader to blossom on their ain. He is symbolically the great godly enigma.
Captain Ahab could be taken in different ways. such as good or evil. In this instance he would be evil sing he has the same name as King Ahab in the Bible. Ahab is like no other character in the book. At times. he lacks compassion or even certain facets of a complete personality. but possibly the finding of his ends ( retaliation on Moby Dick ) compensates for his deficiency of personality. Captian Ahab isn’t merely after the bulbber and oil of the giant. but he is after the glorification and the sense that he can suppress everything. The thing that keeps his engine running after Moby Dick is the fact that there is something greater than him. the “Great” Captain Ahab. Some refer this narcissistic cape as hubris. something Grecian calamity ( from the package ) Supreme beings have. and that hubris is sometimes the ground for their ruin. Captain Ahab has so much assurance in traveling after Moby Dick that at one point he says “If adult male will strike…talk non of blasphemy adult male ; I’d work stoppage back at the Sun if it insulted me…” So non merely is he determined. the lone thing that makes him complete is the fulfilment of striking hatred and decease upon this giant.
To compare to the Bible. Captain Ahab is similar to the King Ahab of 1 Kings. The Bible says in 1 Kings 16:33. ” and Ahab did more to arouse the Lord than all Kings of Israel before him. ” Throughout the book Ahab does merely what will foster his chase of the giant and in making that. he at times disobeys the regulations of faith. concern. of common sense. and disregarding the portents. supplications against his cause. and experience ( Moby Dick Packet ) . For illustration. one portion of the book describes a portion where two ships meet to dock for a short clip and one time Ahab heard intelligence of Moby Dick’s location. he instantly abandoned all programs of crewmans interacting with the other boat and adult females. non even taking a 2nd to take a breath. because he was narrow minded with the white giant in vision.
Like King Ahab has Elijah. Captain Ahab has Fedallah as Prophetss to warn the two leaders of problems in front. Elijah proclaims catastrophe for King Ahab’s misdoings on him and his household. Fedallah came to Ahab. prophesizing the ruin of Ahab and his ship. This shows Melville’s harmony of the Bible with his storytelling. As you can see. Ahab was punished in both the bible and Moby Dick. In The bible it says. ( 1 Kings 17:1 ) ” And Elijah the Tishbite. who was of the dwellers of Gilead. said unto Ahab. As the LORD God of Israel liveth. before whom I stand. there shall non be dew nor rain these old ages. but harmonizing to my word…”
In decision. I believe Melville decidedly used symbolism to spice up his narrative and besides scriptural allusions to give more sense to construct the flood tide of the narrative. I feel I have proven to you that these three characters. Moby Dick. Ishmael. and Captain Ahab were all linked to characters in the bible. Depending on how profoundly you look into the narrative. you can happen that symbolism lies everyplace in this book and that is why it is the “smartest” book for a high-school pupil to read.