Theme Of Religion In Moby Dick

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Religion’s Answer to the Unanswered Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is mostly told from the perspective of Ishmael, however, the story is actually retold. As the ship journey furthers into the ranges of the oceans, Ishmael recounts the honorable profession whaling and attempts to share all of his knowledge with the readers. He does not intend to share the gaps of knowledge in his ship’s pursuits, or whaling as a whole, rather the opposite. Although attempts are made to share knowledge, two intertwined themes are present: the limits of knowledge and the role of religion in answering questions beyond those limits. Ishmael sets himself apart from the rest of the novel’s characters by attempting to raise awareness about the whaling industry’s history and realities with facts and measurements. But the same evidence he uses to prove underlying truths of whaling also act as limits to how humans understand whales. Other characters, and Ishmael on occasion, either use or literally are manifestations of religious references, and these…show more content…
After crossing paths with Captain Mayhew of the Jeroboam, Mayhew warns monomaniac Ahab, “Think, think of thy whale-boat, stoven and sunk! Beware of the horrible tail” (283). Now both Ishmael and Mayhew represent forces attempting to answer the unanswerable when Mayhew begins to question what makes Moby Dick so almighty and powerful. Eventually, it becomes evident in the case where human knowledge is limited and fails to explain certain phenomena, the questions tend to receive religious answers. Mayhew concludes that Moby Dick must be a creation of God because of the whale’s purity in color and a mass amount of power, providing a religious explanation for why Moby Dick is both revered and feared. Later, Ishmael considers another aspect that contributes to the powers of Moby
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