Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Moby Dick - Background

Moby Dick Biographics:
  • Moby-Dick is a Great American Novel and one of the jewels of world literature.
  • It was first published by American author Herman Melville, in 1851.
  • The story is based on real events around the whaleship Essex which had been attacked by a sperm whale & sank.
Moby Dick Basic Story:
  • The story revolves around the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab.
  • Ishmael learns that Ahab, in particular, is after one specific ferocious white sperm whale, Moby Dick.
  • Previously Moby Dick had destroyed Ahab's boat & also bitten off one of his legs.
  • Ahab intends to take revenge.
Moby Dick Literary Points:
  • Herman Melville cleverly uses symbolism, metaphor, & stylized language to work through a number of complex themes.
  • On Ishmael's journey, important concepts such as good and evil, class & social status, & the existence of gods are examined.
  • Through Ishmael's voice we hear about his own personal beliefs, including the fundamental question of his (& our) place in the universe.
  • Shakespearean literary devices are also used in the novel.
Moby Dick Publication:
  • First published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851 as a three-volume edition titled The Whale.
  • Soon afterwards (November 14, 1851), the novel was published as a single book by New York City publisher Harper and Brothers as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.

Tags: 1851 - Essex - Evil - Good - Herman Melville -Metaphor - Moby Dick - Novel - Social Class -Sperm Whale - Symbolism - Whaleship - White Whale

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