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Moby Dick - Outline.

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MOBY DICK-OUTLINE Herman Melville lived a long and interesting life that would affect not only his literary works of art, but also our society today. Many of his most notable novels would draw from his days at sea, and from his experiences as a result of those voyages. The setting of Moby-Dick is critical to the story, and fits the time period the story takes place in very well. Most of the book takes place on various oceans, such as the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Pacific, in the early to mid 1800's. However, a good deal of the first part of the novel takes place in New England inside and around Nantucket. Some evidence of this story taking place in this time period can be conveyed through examples from the book. For example, in the seventh chapter entitled "The Chapel", the book shows specific dates in the form of plaques that are dedicated to the lives of men who have perished at sea. These plaques site specific dates such as November 1st, 1836, December 31st, 1839, and August 3rd 1833. The fact that these dated plaques represent dead men insinuates the story takes place at a later date. ...read more.


Captain Ahab is an overwhelmingly intimidating character in the story, and can probably be considered the most deranged of them all. His radical obsession with finding and killing the white whale known as "Moby-Dick" causes Ishmael and others of the crew to become frightened at his abnormal behavior. Ahab's physical appearance is best described as foreboding and evil. He is a tall man with gray hair, and is missing a leg due to a death-defying confrontation with Moby-Dick himself. His new artificial leg is made from the bone of whale and once again adds to his intimidating form. His personality is also quite mad. He has a maniacal presence about him and would risk his life and the lives of his crewmen just to fulfill his mission of demented revenge. Melville does a fine job describing this particular character with the utmost extremeness. The characters of Ishmael and Ahab are two that have a great and critical impact on the book. Ishmael's character allows the reader to relate to a love for nature and the earth, as well as a feeling of inner peace and serenity. ...read more.


He especially makes this clear when he states that "the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago." Also, it is worthy of noting that the Rachel, a ship the crew had encountered earlier in the voyage, rescues Ishmael. There are many conflicts within the plot of Moby-Dick, two of which include the conflict between Ahab and the whale, and another that is between Queequeg and Ahab concerning Pip. The conflict between Ahab and the whale is probably the most obvious. Basically, the whale took off Ahab's leg, and he is forced to live with a peg leg for the rest of his days. This, of course, upsets the mad captain and he seeks revenge with the whale. This conflict is probably representative of a classic "man against nature" type of feud that is always very intense and engaging. Another conflict is the one between Ahab and Queequeg concerning Pip, the little African-American boy who joins the crew on their doomed voyage. Ahab denies Pip any respect, while Queequeg is a lot more supportive and defendant of the boy. This action conflict aids the story in giving Queequeg a more human and civilized character than that of a stereotypical cannibal. Without these conflicts as well as others, the story just wouldn't be the same. ...read more.

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