The ethical obscurity of the universe– Moby Cock
The moral ambiguity of deep space prevails throughout Melville’s Moby Dick. None of the characters represent pure evil or pure goodness. Even Melville’s description of Ahab, whom he repeatedly describes “monomaniacal,” suggesting an amorality or psychosis, is offered an opportunity to be viewed as a frail, understanding character. When Ahab’s “monomaniac” fate is juxtaposed with that of Ishmael, that moral ambiguity deepens, leaving the reader with an ultimate unclarity of principle. The final minutes of Moby Cock bring the novel to a terse, abrupt climax.
The shared damage of the Pequod and the White Whale, followed by Ishmael’s epilogue occupies approximately half a lots pages. Regardless of Melville’s previous propensity to systematically information every aspect of whaling life, he assumes a concise, nearly journalistic approach in the climax. Note that in these few pages, he makes little attempt to designate valuation to the events taking place. Stylistically, his narration is minimized to brusque, accurate phrases using a higher number of semicolons.
By ending the book so curtly, Melville makes an essentially minimal effort at denouement, leaving what value judgments exist to the reader. Ultimately, it is the dichotomy between the particular fortunes of Ishmael and Ahab that the reader is entrusted to. Herein lays a greater ethical ambiguity than is previously suggested. Although Ishmael is the sole survivor of the Pequod, it is notable that in his own way, Ahab satisfies his desire for vengeance by guaranteeing the destruction of the White Whale alongside his own end. Regardless of the seeming superiority of Ishmael’s destiny, Melville does not clearly suggest so.
On the contrary, he subtly recommends that Ishmael’s survival is lonely and empty upon being rescued: “It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.” (724) That single instance of the appellation “orphan” as used to Ishmael speaks volumes when taken in light of the destruction of the Pequod and her crew. Melville’s inclusion of Ishmael’s survival as an epilogue, a suffix attached to the remarkable damage of the Pequod, suggests that Ishmael’s survival is an afterthought to the fate of Ahab and the rest of his team.
Ishmael’s quiet words at the start of the chapter, “Why then here does any one step forth?? Because one did make it through the wreck,” (723) suggest a deep humbleness on Ishmael’s part. The question is then raised of why Ishmael is the sole survivor. It is clear that Ishmael considerably differs with Ahab worrying their respective perspectives of the White Whale. Ishmael clearly suggests in the chapter “The Attempt Works” how disagreeable he finds the mission and mentality of those around him: “? he hurrying Pequod, freighted with savages, and loaded with fire, and burning a remains, and plunging into that blackness of darkness, appeared the material counterpart of her monomaniac leader’s soul.” (540) Here, Ishmael breaks his normal separated and watchful mindset and boldly divorces himself from Ahab’s objective and those whom Ahab has actually recruited to help him. Ishmael further differentiates himself from the remainder of the team by being the sole non-exploiter of whales in basic. Melville makes it clear early that Ishmael initially picks to ship on the Pequod for the experiential worth of whaling.
It has been indicated that his outlook on the whale is the only substantially benign one. Whereas Ishmael is horrified by the “brightness of the whale,” Stubb sees economic gain in the valuable whale oil, discreetly meant by his self-important gloating upon his very first kill. In the harpooners, we see a violent savageness, even in Queequeg’s otherwise loving nature. To Ahab, the whale is an emblem of pure evil. Even sensible, reasonable Starbuck looks on the whale as a dumb animal, which it is his duty to exploit.
The horror that Ishmael views is an effect of his own unclear worry of the whale’s “nothingness. What Ishmael worries is the magical, frightening manifestation of white in the natural world, coupled with its subversion of the sense of pureness attached to whiteness in the human world. Ishmael is identified from the remainder of the team in his capability to think about the point of views of the others. In his function as narrator, Ishmael’s capability to detachedly examine the viewpoints of those around him might be what conserves him. Note also, that in his narration, Ishmael is the one character to cast any reverence upon the grand scale of the whale.
Unlike the worths the others place on the whale, Ishmael is capable of viewing the whale entirely for its being, as one of the numerous perspectives that he thinks about through the course of the book. In contrast, Ahab’s views of the whale are particular and focused. Melville explains it as a “monomaniacal” obsession, but it is clear in Ahab’s complexity that there are other elements at work. Ahab stays virtually one-dimensional until the chapter “The Symphony,” where he easily shares his feelings with Starbuck.
In allowing us to see the subtle complexities of Ahab’s fascination, Melville makes it clear that Ahab is not an inhuman machine of revenge. Ahab’s questioning of “what anonymous, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozzening, concealed lord and master, and harsh, remorseless emperor commands me?” (685) replaces his previous picture as the depraved. The reader is now left to question whether Ahab is certainly maddened by his obsessive hatred, or just overwhelmingly figured out, however blinded by his anger.
Note though, that regardless of whatever end comes of him, Ahab is successful in avenging himself upon the whale. Although he is swallowed up by the sea before he can be totally knowledgeable about his success, he does expend his last minutes satisfying his mission. At the last, he declares, “from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my dying breath at thee.” Whatever Ahab’s inspirations, it can not be discounted that this goal of is his being recognized even with his dying breath. With the characters of Ishmael and Ahab structured into their respective places, the stage is set for the book’s finale.
The uncertain situations of the last chapter “The Chase? Third Day,” are even more complicated by the portrait of the whale that Melville himself composes. Melville represents whales methodically throughout the novel, approaching them from a clinical, sociologic, philosophic, and even poetic viewpoints. Regardless of the relative benignness of the novel’s previous leviathans, Melville makes the White Whale noticeably various: “Moby Dick appeared combinedly possessed by all the angels that fell from paradise. (715 )
Regardless of the apparently lunacy suggested by Ahab’s persistence that the White Whale is an evil force, the ruthless effectiveness with which Moby Cock protects himself appears to vindicate Ahab in the end. It is this shared malevolency that is the impetus for the down spiral of violence begetting violence that culminates in the mutual damage of Ahab and Moby Dick. In being left to valuate the respective fates of Ishmael and Ahab, the reader is forced to examine what each character has actually accomplished or lost in his option of actions.
Ishmael is fortunate enough to be the sole survivor of the Pequod, however it is left unclear to what injuries he deals with. Ahab ultimately succeeds in his objective, but does so at the expense of his life, his ship and his crew. Melville makes no attempt to mark for the reader a moral hierarchy, and in doing so, finishes the obscurity. The reader is then left with the possibility of appointing symbolic relations between the characters. If looked at from the grandest scale, it is possible to see the whale and the sea as an ethically ambivalent cosmos.
If so, then the fault of Ahab and the crew of the Pequod is their useless attempt to master a force of nature far beyond their comprehension, and are destroyed for it. The image of Ishmael drifting helplessly upon the ocean, without even the wreckage of the Pequod then becomes a strikingly lonely picture of humanity adrift in a universe neither good nor evil. Herman’s Melville’s Moby Penis is likewise by far his best literary work as it is not just another sea experience. In the story, the author has a message for his readers. But he suggests his message through a remarkable selection of signs and images.
The ethical message stumbles upon through the scriptural story of Jonah and the whale. In the scriptural story (Old Testament) Jonah does not hearken the word of God and subsequently, he needs to deal with God’s rage and go on a ship to Tarshish where he is come by a horrible storm at sea. Finally when the crewmembers discover that it is since of the sinner Jonah that this storm had been crafted he is thrown into the sea. Recognizing his mistake, Jonah wishes forgiveness. The result is that God forgives Jonah and asks the whale to launch him.
The story as part of the Pastor’s Sunday Preaching provides the reader an inkling of the events to take place later on in the book, specifically the journey on the Pequod and its terrible end. Simply as in the story, Jonah wanders off far from the path of God, so does the wicked Captain Ahab in his single mindedness try to avenge the whale, Moby Penis. However while Jonah repents for his sins and is forgiven, Ahab does not pay heed to the warning signal given out by the awful storm that harms the Pequod’s sails. And he dies while attempting to strike a harpoon into Moby Penis.
The author deliberately makes a veiled referral to the book’s message, for it is something that breaks the tenets of Christian viewpoint that states that “guy’s life is but a shadow in the world.” Though man suffers in the world he obtains incredible happiness after death. But Melville does not agree with this and instead states through meaning and the journey of the Pequod that there is just one life., and guy pays for his deeds throughout his life time and not after death. This view appears to agree with the religious revivalism in the 1830s, which mentioned immediate or immediate redemption.
Though the book has a great deal of depth and signs for the reader to discover, the one striking theme which appears once again and once again is about guy’s resist the forces of nature. It is evident in Captain Ahab in his pursuit of Moby Penis. It is likewise obvious in all the crewmembers as they aim to dominate the hardships both physical and psychological that are dealt with on their journey to the Pacific. The author definitely sees something positive in this struggle. For mankind has actually advanced through its struggle against and conquest of its physical environment.
Just as Ahab causes his and his ship’s damage in his mad pursuit of Moby Dick, today we are destroying the delicate balance of the earth by attempting to get mastery over it, and all of us understand where it will lead us– a significant eco-friendly disaster. In the context of guy and the environment, time and once again in the story, the author utilizes various symbols of the sea to offer his views on man’s life with regard to the huge, complicated universe around him. Through different signs of the whale and the oceans, the author assesses man’s position, his role in deep space as well as his lack of understanding the complicated world he is living in.
Instead of seeing the world in black and white, one should see it in tones of gray as Ishmael does. Melville uses the world of the whale to expose this theme. Using the whale as an example, the author makes extensive observations such as how whale’s eyes are put on both sides of his head so he can see more than one item. Nevertheless, while the whale can see a number of elements in life, man can see one and comprehend only one because both of his eyes see ahead of him just.
Overall, I did not like Moby Dick that much, however I would still suggest that you read this book a minimum of once; Moby Cock revealed me that ethical obscurity and spiritual undertones were abundant throughout the book. Also, Ahab taught me and whoever else that has read this book that we should not try to master the earth because the world would remain in absolute chaos and we would wind up triggering our own destruction similar to Ahab did to himself and his ship due to his fanatical hunt of the whale Moby Penis.