Moby Dick and Nature How Nature Displays an Indomitable Force Term Paper
- Length: 13 pages
- Sources: 5
- Subject: Literature
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #45252816
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Moby Dick and Nature, How Nature Displays an Indomitable Force
Moby-Dick provides different conducts of human beings towards nature. Melville presents a sea animals' world with a white whale as the focus of the narrative and a society represented through the Pequod. Through underlining the conflict between the Pequod, and the white whale, the author of the novel makes a unique, thorough and intensive check out into the link amid human beings and nature. The different attributes and behaviors of the main characters and diverse ethical ideas demonstrated through these characters highlight the relationship between man and nature.
Ishmael and Captain Ahab different fates help the reader in discovering Melville's ethical leaning. Captain Ahab is a tragic hero and the conflict between Ahab and Moby-Dick sets off the reader's tension. Some innermost motive on nature makes an irreconcilable contraction between Moby-Dick and Ahab. The tragedy of Ahab represents human failures against nature while the survival Ishmael represents conquest of the pleasant link between nature and human beings. Moby-Dick inspires the environmental responsiveness of man and empowers humankind to shun anthropocentrism, but instead respect life and nature.
There are numerous insanely destructive opponents in the novel; an oilman, an island property developer, or a thief after a ship filled with gold (Melville 6). All these aspects place an increased value on material belongings and money compared to loyalty and human life. However, the only revenge that takes place is that of human beings against a wounded white whale. As a result, the roles of the whale and Ahab are inverted. Even one ethical character, Rick Mason, in commiseration with the whale, is eventually decapitated through Hook Jaw. However, the major theme of man against nature and the unavoidable conquest of natural force over human antagonism remain pertinent in the impressive and violent narrative. Melville places nature as a strapping character that displays an unconquerable role and force in the novel.
Nature as a Character in the Novel
Moby-Dick is a heroic book, but what concerns Melville is not the heroism that is expressed through physical actions. Instead, Melville is concerned with the heroism of thought itself as it extends beyond its ostensible proclaims and insignificance, in the very teeth of the a presumably malevolent and hostile creation, that human's voice is used for something against the deep and watery waste that the concepts of man plays a major role in the world. While this is the expedition of the novel, what makes it so fascinating and uncanny is its depiction of nature. The novel highlights the struggle man labors to achieve meaning in nature, and the unresponsiveness of nature itself that eludes man.
Nature in Moby-Dick refers to the completely external show and force of animate life in a world drastically emptied of God or a place where an insubstantial malignity has take control form the start (Bloom 120). Melville highlights the struggle from the nature's side. He considers the whale's perspective of things better than he does Ahab's view of things; and Moby-Dick's milk-white; the tail feathers of the sea birds flowing from his back like pennons are defined with an ecstasy similar to adulation of a god. Even in the most dreadful scenes of the whale massacre, where the whales change direction like bows to crunch into their own entrails, one confirms that Harman is taken through the bare reality of things. The grand unrelenting flow of creation itself, where the immense mantle of the sea rolls over the disaster-prone ship makes the reader to feel that it is only the requisite to keep one individual alive as a witness to the tale that saves Ishmael from the general wreck and ruin.
In Harman's final vision of the entire story, it is not reasonable but it is just that the whale should damage the ship, and that man should get caught up by the beast. It is just in a cosmic manner, not in the sense that the prophet envisages the punishment of disobedience of man through narrating the story of Jonah from the start, where the made point is the archetypal reproof of God to man when He speaks out of the cyclone. Harman speaks for the cyclone for the watery waste, for the whales. This aspect offers Moby-Dick its crushing and appalling power. Through the story, Melville makes the reader feel that he, as a writer, understands what it is like to be in the rock's eyes, the whale's magnitude, the scalding sea and the visions that lie covered in the pacific. Of course, all is viewed through human eyes, but there is a cold, ferocious, despondency, a type of euphoric masochism that find pleasure in punishing a human being in drowning him or loading coals on his head. This is evidenced in the panorama of the whale loping through the herd with a cutting spade in his body, slashing down his own.
The spirited force of nature is also evident in the horrific picture of Pip, the cabin boy hopping out of the boat in panic and left on the Pacific to go crazy (Melville 8). It is also evident in Tashtego falling into the whale's honey head and in the final awesome image of the whale butting its head against the Pequod. In all the mentioned scenes, there is elation in horror, the revulsion of nature itself, pure nature in absence of God or man. Pure nature is represented through the whiteness of the strange whale, the whiteness that is not so much of a color as the lack of color. The whiteness mirrors the pitiless voids and vastness of the world, and hence stubs people from behind with annihilation concept while considering the white pits of the milky path. Through this subsistence image, man holds the mystery's peep-hole that comprises of the most incredible accomplishment of Harman's genius.
With regard to the contemplation of the whale's whiteness, it becomes a strange trial to understand nature as it might be viewed with human being completely left alone. Man loses his humanity and becomes receptive to primitive actions. This understanding of reality besides the capacity to choose nature instead of man suggests the capacity to support what hold no animation, what is inhumanly still, what does not search like man who is a hero lopping against time and struggling against reality. Harman views nature as its ear to reality: to the rock instead of a hero struggling to get his weapon out of the rock. Harman repeatedly highlights the power of nature and compare human beings with the grand thing that he is trying to understand. While Ahab is a hero, he tries to force himself on what he cannot control, nature.
Harman believes that man is presumptuous, puny and easily overpowered in the grand storm of reality that he tries to include as a character in the novel (Bloom 122). This sense of scale depends on the chapters of the whale's natural history, and behind the continuous attraction on human minds of the differences between the whale and man; a man sailing a small boat and get overpowered by his own arms (Melville 4). Ahab get challenged and overpowered by nature despite his fight back to demonstrate his pre-eminence over the normal procedures of nature. His struggle becomes blasphemous and the only thing man can do is to take the span of the enormity of nature and record the power of the might inundation.
The hero in the novel tries to defy and master nature through an attempt to understand external nature via physical assault and through industrial and scientific cunning. However, man does not find his link to nature as a hero or through regarding the prophetic admonition of human being's apposite subservice to God. Even though all the attempted benefits from nature fails man and he falls with the Pequod, man is not a thing in the world, but an ear that listens to the sea that drowns him, and an imaginative mind that hears the sea in the shell. In a man's unresting and implausible, there is a fantastic gift which he enters into what is not his, what functions against him, nature, and through this nature he can speak and act. Ishmael's greater understanding operates principally to point out the inadequacies of other men's attitudes especially that of Ahab. Ishmael is incapable of hearing any immortal voices behind him. Notwithstanding how constantly man seeks within his mind or world to comprehend the temperament of God, and so to understand the temperament of his own flawed subsistence within a mostly dark world, he realizes that higher truths remains indefinite. He cannot explain why his world is increasingly dark, and why the complete man encounters more grief than joy. In a dark world where prospect hold the final featuring blow to all events, God remains, enigmatic, as Ishmael states.
Similarities between Ahab and Moby Dick
After repeated fearless assaults, the White Whale escapes alive. Some whalemen goes further to declare Moby Dick as…