Moby Dick On The Civil War

991 WordsApr 18, 20164 Pages
During this time there were divisions in the united states with talks of emancipation and the uphold of slavery. Because of the southern states wanting to uphold slavery, the depletion of the natural and fertile soil began, forcing slave owners to seek slave trade west where they are originally barred. This led to the United states need for expansion and led to more wars and the seizure of western land from Mexico. The constitutional crisis of the south wanting to succeed from the union because they wanted tighter regulations of slavery, as it related to the north led to the compromise of 1850(sattelmayer 748). Also during this time Melville’s father in law was one of the first northern judge to actually implement the law, sending fugitive slaves back to their masters. This went along with all the domestic issues America was having and the rising of the civil war. Melville comments on both of these events through Moby Dick, “Moby Dick comments on these events both directly and obliquely...The entire plot resounds with echoes of contemporary political rhetoric, in which biblical analogies and metaphors such as the ship of state, the leviathan, and storms at sea figured prominently”(Sattelmayer 748). He also makes many comparisons of political leaders of the time to characters in the novel, including Massachusetts senator Daniel Webster and Judge Shaw, who were both responsible for carrying out the compromise of 1850. Melville compared both of them to captain Ahab. Melville,
Open Document