Moby Dick by Herman Melville Term Paper

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¶ … Moby Dick by Herman Melville [...] how the author informs the reader that Captain Ahab is not like other people. Captain Ahab is an extremely unlikable character that dominates this novel. He is different from other people, and the author makes that very clear from the very beginning of the book.

Captain Ahab is not introduced until Chapter Sixteen of the novel, and from the very first description of the legendary captain, it is quite clear that he is different from everyone else, from his physical appearance to his outlook and his desire to capture the giant whale, "Moby Dick." Another captain of the vessel says, "Clap eye on Captain Ahab, young man, and thou wilt find that he has only one leg'" (Melville 71). The captain is physically different from everyone else on the ship because he only has one leg, and it is a peg leg at that. Even more unusual is the fact that his leg was chewed off by the whale that he hopes to capture, so it is clear he differs from the rest of his crew in his desire to capture the whale that maimed him. It has become a personal vendetta for him, something that is made very clear throughout the novel.

Later, the author lets the reader know that Ahab is intellectually different, as well. He is educated, making him different than most of the men he commands, and many of the men of his time. Captain Peleg continues, "Mark ye, be forewarned; Ahab's above the common; Ahab's been in colleges, as well as 'mong the cannibals; been used to deeper wonders than the waves; fixed his fiery lance in mightier, stranger foes than whales'" (Melville 79). Thus, already, very soon in the book, the author has informed the reader that Ahab is physically and mentally different from those of his crew and many other people as well, and this diversity continues throughout the novel, as well.

As the novel progresses, it becomes quite clear that Ahab is not only physically and intellectually different from others; he may be… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  (2007, December 8).  Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/moby-dick-herman-melville/565343

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"Moby Dick by Herman Melville."  Essaytown.com.  December 8, 2007.  Accessed January 20, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/moby-dick-herman-melville/565343.