Moby Dick Rhetorical Analysis

1206 Words5 Pages
Can a whaling adventure provide insight into the shadows of fate and human nature? The white whale in Herman Melville’s, Moby Dick, is a dominant mark of human nature. The symbolism Moby Dick procures provides insight to the enigmatic decisions of Captain Ahab and his crew. Ahab’s pigeon-holes himself into believing his purpose for existence is a suicide mission to kill the whale; he is insistent that the whale represents everything wrong in the world. Melville’s reasoning for Ahab’s obsession with the whale is an analogy for seeking the meaning of existence. The motivations behind human behavior aren’t directly stated, however, Melville crafts the white whale as an allegory for vengeance, uncontrollable fate and perception of the natural world open to literal and figurative interpretation. Ahab’s lifelong quest to kill the white whale is based on vengeance. On a whaling expedition, Moby Dick bites off the Captain’s leg leaving him with a prosthesis. He allows the incident to define him exclaiming “Aye, aye! It was that accursed white whale that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me forever and a day!”. It is at this point Ahab declares himself sovereign from the power of God. He knows he will perish in journey yet in a conversation with Starbuck he states his determination saying: “All visible objects, man,…show more content…
I look round to shake hands with Shem. I am horror-struck at this antemosaic, unsourced existence of the unspeakable terrors of the whale, which, having been before all time, must needs exist after all humane ages are

More about Moby Dick Rhetorical Analysis

Get Access