Moby Dick-Structure and Form
Moby Cock’s structure remains in a sense one of the most basic of all literary structures-the story of a journey. Its 135 chapters and epilogue describe how Ishmael leaves Manhattan for Captain Ahab’s whaling ship, the Pequod, how Ahab pilots the Pequod from Nantucket to the Pacific looking for Moby Dick, and how in the end Ishmael alone makes it through the journey. This basic however effective structure is what keeps us reading, as we ask ouselves, “Where will Ahab seek out his enemy next? What will take place when he gets there?” Some critics have actually divided the book into sections, like acts in a play.
The very first, from Chapter 1 to Chapter 22, describes Ishmael, depicts his growing relationship with Queequeg, and acts as a type of dry-land intro to themes-whaling, brotherhood, and man’s relationship with God-explored in greater detail at sea. The next area starts as the Pequod sails and continues to Chapter 46. Here you fulfill both Captain Ahab and, in description if not yet in the flesh, his terrific enemy, Moby Cock. A long middle secction, from Chapter 47 to Chapter 105, shows the Pequod at work as whales are hunted and eliminated and other whaling ships met. It likewise shows Ishmael contemplating the significance of these activities.
The plot slows as Melville requires time to collect and show evidence of the significance of the Pequod’s voyage. Then, from Chapter 106 to the book’s end, we’re captured up in the excitement as Ahab guides his ship nearer and nearer to Moby Dick and last catastrophe. Although Moby Dick’s fundamental structure is easy, the book is anything but easy, in part because Melvill writes in numerous literary kinds. As an entire, Moby Dick is obviously an unique, but a few of its chapters are composed as if they were scenes in a play. The chapters including Father Mapple and Fleece contain sermons.
Other chapters, a lot of notable Ishmael’s discussion of whales and whaling, resembling essays. Indeed, some readers have compared Moby Penis not to books but to other type of literary works. Some have noted its similarity to impressive poems, such as Homer’s Odyssey. Like this epic, Moby Penis informs of a sea journey and a fight between males and gods. Other critics see resemblances to Greek or Elizabethan tragedy. Still others have abandoned literature completely to compare Moby Dick to a musical symphony or even to the ocean itself. It’s the richness included within Moby Dick’s easy structure that accounts for such disagreements.