Innate Evilness Within Humans And Nature In Herman Melville's Moby Dick

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Many individuals have proclaimed and expressed their opinion on how in today’s society the human kind exists in a broken world, with broken people, and broken ideas. From a young age, humans are not taught how to be a bully, how to attack someone, or how to be evil. Instead humans are taught how to control themselves and how to act politely. This only happens because inside of humans and nature is evil. Humans are taught how to be good to control the evil that dominantly exists inside. As seen in Moby Dick, Herman Melville conveys the idea of innate evilness within humans and nature through Ishmael looking for remedies to evil, through the wicked behavior seen in actions taken by nature, and through referencing Ahab’s actions to Satan. As …show more content…

Ishmael was intrigued by the flames on the ship and he thought they were soothing to his soul. Ironically, the fire was not acting as a remedy to his cause, but instead just amplified the flame of evilness inside of him to a greater degree. Ishmael would express how it is important to, “Look not too long in the face of the fire, O man! Never dream with thy hand on the helm! Turn not thy back to the compass; accept the first hint to the hitching tiller; believe not the artificial fire, when its redness makes makes all things look ghastly” (492). Ishmael almost capsized the boat because his first thought tempted him into the fire. Even on the sea, Ishmael’s scene to get away from the evil spirit that lives inside of him, it still dwells. Again Melville shows that humans are innately evil, Ishmael's instinct was to turn towards the fire which set him into a dream state, but then he resumed guiding the boat. Ishmael, and at a larger reference of humans, need to be entertained, need something to occupy their time and energy to prevent them from turning to evil. Ishmael needed to fulfill his craving of the sea to stay in the right state of mind, and not dwell to far in the state of evilness. Without the sea one could conclude Melville tried to illustrate Ishmael would of been driven to darkness. Nature, like man, also contains principles of innate evilness, which is displayed through the actions of nature that Melville describes, including those of sharks and of Moby Dick.

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