The Theme Of Whiteness In Herman Melville's Moby-Dick

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In Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, whiteness or the lack of whiteness plays a significant role. The whiteness of Ahab, Ishmael, and other sailors, and the lack of whiteness of Queequeg, and the whiteness of nonhuman components, like the whale and the ship, address the subject of race. Melville uses the motif of whiteness and the lack of whiteness to convey the theme that the white man’s reign in American is ultimately doomed.
To fully understand Melville’s view on whiteness and race, one can look towards other literary authors and their personal descriptions of Herman Melville. Toni Morrison describes Melville as an “African Americanist…on white supremacist culture” (Levine 9-10). Because Melville did not believe in the supremacy of the white man, one can determine that Melville also did not believe the white man should be above all other races. Moby-Dick has been considered a “radically anti-racist text by several scholars (Andriano 141). D. H. Lawrence, after reading Moby-Dick, writes that Melville predicted the doom of the white man in America. “Melville knew. He knew his race was doomed. His white soul, doomed. He great white epoch, doomed. Himself doomed” (160). Lawrence supports his argument with the sinking of the Pequod because this ship belonged to Ahab, the white American man. The white man failed in the end and was killed by his own obsession with whiteness.
When Melville was writing Moby-Dick, there are claims that he read an article by Lous Agassiz. Agassiz's

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