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Herman Melville Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Moby Dick

In this video, we immediately learn of an obsessed captain who wants revenge. Why does he want revenge and against whom or what? He wants revenge against a white whale for taking his leg. 2.Who is the narrator of Moby Dick and what is the first line of the novel? Ishmael narrates the novel. 3.There are two significant Biblical allusions[->0] mentioned in the film. To whom do these allusions reference? How are the names significant? the name Ahab describes a king who turns vile. This suggesting that the Ahab of this novel will be a similarly conflicted leader. Also Ishmael shows independence and shows that he just wants to take care of himself. 4.The narrator states that Moby Dick symbolizes…

Billy Budd by Herman Melville

Billy Budd by Herman Melville is a story about a young, charismatic sailor, Billy Budd, who is called to be transferred to Bellipotent, a British warship, from Rights of Men, a merchant ship. Billy Budd works diligently on the new boat and wins the favors of most of the crew, including Captain Vere, the captain of the ship. However, like the old saying, no good deed goes unpunished; Billy Bud soon catches the attention of Claggart, the ship’s master-of-arms. Claggart is envious of Billy Budd because of his appeal. Claggart accuses Billy of planning a mutiny in front of the captain. Unable to make a sensible response to defend himself, Billy strikes Claggart on the forehead with a fatal blow….

Conformity vs. Rebellion (Bartleby the Scrivener)

Conformity and rebellion are evil twins that humanity has been nourishing since the beginning of civilization. As we conform to the social norms that surround us everyday, we are trapped inside of this overwhelming system where we easily lose ourselves as individuals. On the other hand, the urges of rebellion that live in our ego compel us to break from the state of our bondages. Yet, our superegos are trying to keep us in a reasonable threshold, and enable us to stay in the system. As a result, people are fighting a constant internal battle of conformity versus rebellion. As Herman Melville describes in his story “Bartleby the Scrivener,” humanity is hopelessly struggling between conformity and rebellion. He presents us…

Captain Ahab portrayed as monomaniacal in Moby Dick

Monomania, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is the pathological obsession with one subject or idea. In Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, an obsession causes monomania in its main character. Through his actions, words, thoughts, and what others think about him, Captain Ahab is truly monomaniacal. Ahab is monomaniacal through his words and thoughts. “Talk not to me of blasphemy,man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.” This shows Ahab’s madness because only he would have the nerve to say that no matter who it is, great or small, he would stand up to them; this includes Moby Dick. Ahab often smokes a pipe, but he realizes something and says “What business have I with this pipe? This…