Analysis Of ' Moby Dick '

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A vengeful man, a native, and a man seeking enlightenment board a whaling vessel; this isn’t a joke, this is the United States of America throughout history and the members of the Pequod. Moby Dick is not just a tale about a whaling venture gone awry, it is a metaphor for what America was and is. The Pequod represents the country and government, while the 30 crew members (Melville 430; ch. 126) represents the United State citizens. This would have not been possible to consider in Melville’s time, but it is a true testament to literature being a living text. Melville wasn’t only writing about America in the 1800’s, he was writing about the natures of humanity, and the future of our society. The social hierarchy of the Pequod is explained…show more content…
The hierarchy is still as follows: white men, more white men, minorities. The social hierarchy of the ship is strikingly similar to the social hierarchy of America in the late 1840’s into the 1850’s. Ahab, a white male, was the captain over numerous immigrants, natives, and African Americans on this ship. Now, what he should have been doing was keeping the crew in mind when making decisions, but instead he was consumed and focused on overtaking the White Whale. To Abraham Lincoln this White Whale was preserving the Union. Lincoln had a moral problem with slavery, but he was also prepared to do anything to preserve the Union. He once said, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it,” (Save the Union). This is exactly how Ahab felt; Ahab was prepared for his entire crew to accompany him to “all the ends of the earth,” (Melville 100; ch. 27). Ahab was indifferent about the actual outcome of his crew as long as his goals were met, which is very similar to Lincoln’s view of slavery: as long as the goal is met, the citizens, or crew, doesn’t matter. There is a more modern parallel from Captain Ahab to George W. Bush. Both were Commander in Chief, both had vengeance towards an unseen enemy, and both rallied the crew to fight against this enemy. Captain Ahab encouraged his crew to take down the white whale
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