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Moby Dick Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Moby Dick

Melville’s Moby Dick is widely recognized as one of the most complex and brilliant allegorical novels in American literature. As an allegory, the events, places, people and conflicts depicted in the novel represent not only the obvious surface-level elements of the novel, but stand as indications of the novel’s philosophical and metaphysical themes. The allegory of Moby Dick involves an examination into the nature of reality and also into the nature of good and evil, as defined for Melville partially by America’s Puritan heritage. Melville wanted to portray the essence of evil in a symbol, which was the whale, Moby Dick. When Ahab says “All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks,” (Melville) he is echoing the allegorical construction…

Fate and Predestination in Moby Dick

Fate and predestination are two entirely different themes found in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Fate and predestination are not one and the same. Although most people might unknowingly use the terms interchangeably, there is a very real and distinct difference. Fate is determined by man, and is the end result of a free will action. In Moby Dick, Ahab’s free will and belief that he is driven by destiny determines his own fate, the fate of his crew, and results in the inevitable destruction of the Pequod. Melville often uses symbolism to indicate the existence of fate. The Pequod itself is a symbol of the ill-fated journey to conquer the great white whale. On the other hand, predestination is a…

Moby Dick, Sophie’s World, East of Eden

In today’s society, the issues of fate and free will are hotly debated, drawing in heated discussions of religion, chance, and the extent of free will. While some believe we have a significant amount of control over our lives exercised through free will in our choices, others believe an entirely different power is at hand in controlling our lives. These issues often find themselves associated in literature, with examples such as John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World. Among these books, there are different interpretations on the role of fate and free will in human life. In particular, these three different works of literature express varying shows of balance between fate and free…