This guest post from Marion Moses
My favorite book is Herman Melvilles 1851 novel Moby Dick. The story of the great tragedy of Ahab, combined with the historical elegance of a periled whaling ship set afloat in the mighty oceans is one that should never be forgotten. Perhaps we all can identify with the nearly ostracized Ishmael, who wants to set sail to forget the alienation that has kept him from joy on dry land.
As the ship is a sort of microcosm of human nature, each of the characters can represent something that everyone comes across in their daily lives. For instance, many people can probably find a deep connection with Starbuck, the first mate of the Pequod. Starbuck objects to Ahabs insanity, and doesnt wish to continue after the great White Whale. However, he does so anyways because he feels a deep obligation to follow his orders till the last.
The writing itself is absolutely exquisite. Its a shame that it wasn't appreciated in its own time, despite the fact that Melville actually borrows from Shakespeare. The writing truly brings the characters to life, like those I see when watching live programs on the satellite service we got after seeing this site: Satellite beats cable. Take, for instance, the passage describing the above mentioned first officer:
Uncommonly conscientious for a seaman, and endued with a deep natural reverence, the wild watery loneliness of his life did therefore strongly incline him to superstition; but to that sort of superstition, which in some organization seems rather to spring, somehow, from intelligence than from ignorance...
Its hard to imagine that at one point, this would have been considered an inferior text.
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