Moby Dick and its Biblical Allusions
“Biblical Aspect of Moby Cock” 4/5/02 Moby Penis is a novel filled with many scriptural allusions, and I feel strongly that there are particular characters in the book that represent scriptural characters or express the exact same circumstances in the Bible. In the beginning of the book, Father Mapple provides a preaching to the sailors about Jonah and the whale. This story in itself has much symbolism and begins the book off with the notion that God and the Bible are very much a part of the story.
In specific there are a couple of main characters that support the fact that they are symbolic to the Bible. Initially, Ishmael is the main character in the story and is the storyteller through the majority of the book. He is very various from all of the sailors on the ship. He has class, intelligence, and he understands nothing about whaling or the sea. In the book of Genesis, Ishmael was an outcast “with everyone’s hand versus him,” and in the book you see how he is various from the sailors due to the fact that of his little knowledge of whaling.
To even more analyze Ishmael’s circumstance, he says he escapes to the sea to leave the anxieties that have ridden his life. Another part of Genesis informs us that Ishmael wasn’t Abraham’s true boy since he was born through one of Abraham’s maids (allegedly Sarai, his partner, was sterile) and since Isaac was born, Ishmael was avoided. Like in Moby Cock, Ishmael was looked down upon from the start due to the fact that he didn’t have the history that other people on the boat had as sailors.
Ishmael is always various from everybody, and he takes a look at everything in an interrogative method, so he thinks about Moby Penis as a holy strange animal while Capt. Ahab thinks Moby Dick is pure evil. Moby Penis is the most complicated, undefined character in the book. However to try to understand this enigma, let’s take a look at what we know about him. Moby Penis is a white, enormous sperm whale, the largest and most feared by all beings in the sea. To Ahab, Moby Penis is the greatest of all evil. To Starbuck, the chase after the whale is an unproductive cause.
To Ishmael, the whale defines secret, indescribable, and holiness. Moby Penis’s brightness can be related to holiness and godliness, such as Discovery 1:14,” His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;” Much of revelation involves the color white, which has actually been traditionally a holy color and a color of prosperity as explained in Ishmaels in-depth description of the indescribable brightness that he saw when he spotted Moby Penis.
Another excerpt of Revelation shows the value of white in the Bible, Revelation 4:4) “And round about the throne were 4 and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty seniors sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Ishmael tries to describe whiteness as, “which at times by its intensity entirely subdued all the rest; and yet so magical and well nigh inexpressible was it, that I almost anguish of putting it in an understandable kind. It was the brightness of the whale that above all things horrified me.
But how can I want to explain myself here; and yet, in some dim, random method, explain myself I must, else all these chapters may be naught.” So it seems as if the whiteness was the exact same indescribable thing as is the brightness John saw in his Discovery, which he composed for the Bible. We know Moby Penis is unbreakable and like God, nobody can touch him. So can we conclude Moby Dick represents God? I believe that is among the mysteries that Melville leaves the reader to unfold by themselves. He is symbolically the great magnificent secret.
Captain Ahab might be taken in different ways, such as excellent or wicked. In this case he would be evil considering he has the exact same name as King Ahab in the Bible. Ahab resembles no other character in the book. At times, he does not have compassion or perhaps particular aspects of a total character, but maybe the determination of his goals (revenge on Moby Cock) compensates for his lack of character. Captian Ahab isn’t just after the bulbber and oil of the whale, but he wants the splendor and the sense that he can conquer everything.
The important things that keeps his engine following Moby Penis is the truth that there is something greater than him, the “Great” Captain Ahab. Some refer this egotistical ness as hubris, something Greek tragedy (from the package) Gods have, which hubris is often the factor for their failure. Captain Ahab has so much self-confidence in going after Moby Cock that at one point he says “If man will strike … talk not of blasphemy male; I ‘d strike back at the sun if it insulted me … So not only is he figured out, the only thing that makes him complete is the satisfaction of striking hate and death upon this whale. To compare to the Bible, Captain Ahab is similar to the King Ahab of 1 Kings. The Bible states in 1 Kings 16:33,” and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord than all Kings of Israel prior to him.” Throughout the book Ahab does just what will further his pursuit of the whale and in doing that, he at times disobeys the guidelines of religion, service, of good sense, and neglecting the prophecies, pleas versus his cause, and experience (Moby Penis Package).
For example, one part of the book describes a part where 2 ships fulfill to dock for a brief time and when Ahab heard news of Moby Dick’s area, he immediately abandoned all plans of sailors communicating with the other boat and women, not even taking a 2nd to breathe, due to the fact that he was narrow minded with the white whale in vision. Like King Ahab has Elijah, Captain Ahab has Fedallah as prophets to caution the 2 leaders of difficulties ahead. Elijah proclaims catastrophe for King Ahab’s wrongdoings on him and his household.
Fedallah concerned Ahab, prophesizing the failure of Ahab and his ship. This shows Melville’s concurrence of the Bible with his storytelling. As you can see, Ahab was penalized in both the bible and Moby Penis. In The bible it says,(1 Kings 17:1)” And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the occupants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there will not be dew nor rain these years, however according to my word … “
In conclusion, I believe Melville definitely used importance to spice up his story and also scriptural allusions to provide more sense to build the climax of the story. I feel I have shown to you that these three characters, Moby Dick, Ishmael, and Captain Ahab were all connected to characters in the bible. Depending on how deeply you look into the story, you can discover that meaning lies everywhere in this book which is why it is the “most intelligent” book for a high-school student to read.