Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville.The book is the sailor Ishmael's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee.
This classic story by Herman Melville revolves around Captain Ahab and his obsession with a huge whale, Moby Dick. The whale caused the loss of Ahab's leg years before, leaving Ahab to stomp the boards of his ship on a peg leg.
- John Huston
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Moby Dick, novel by Herman Melville, published in London in October 1851 as The Whale and a month later in New York City as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. It is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Moby Dick is generally regarded as Melville’s magnum opus and one of the greatest American novels. Kent, Rockwell: illustration of Moby Dick
Aug 01, 2011 · The sole survivor of a lost whaling ship relates the tale of his captain's self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale, Moby Dick!
Smith and Joshua George Smith make up comedy trio, The Sleeping Trees. They spoke to BroadwayWorld about bringing their latest Christmas comedy show, The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington, to online audiences.
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Character Analysis Moby Dick The novel is named after Moby Dick because he is the center of Ahab's obsession and a key figure in his own right. The White Whale's appearance is unique. He is an exceptionally large sperm whale with a snow-white head, wrinkled brow, crooked jaw, and an especially bushy spout.
Moby-Dick is a novel by Herman Melville that was first published in 1851.
Moby Dick is a 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick. It was directed by John Huston with a screenplay by Huston and Ray Bradbury. The film starred Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, and Leo Genn. The music score was written by Philip Sainton.
- Cultural references
- Plot summary
Moby-Dick, written in 1851, recounts the adventures of the narrator Ishmael as he sails on the whaling ship, Pequod, under the command of the monomaniacal Captain Ahab. Melville dedicated the book to fellow Dark Romantic, Nathaniel Hawthorne: \\"In token of my admiration for his genius, this book is inscribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne.\\"
[Teachers and students may find useful our Moby-Dick Study Guide. We also offer a short story version of the chapter, The Chase for your convenience.]
Ishmael believes he has signed onto a routine commission aboard a normal whaling vessel, but he soon learns that Captain Ahab is not guiding the Pequod in the simple pursuit of commerce but is seeking one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a great white whale infamous for his giant size and his ability to destroy the whalers that seek him. Captain Ahab's wooden leg is the result of his first encounter with the whale, when he lost both leg and ship. After the ship sails it becomes clear that Captain Ahab is bent on revenge and he intends to get Moby-Dick.
Ahab demonstrates erratic behavior from the very beginning and his eccentricities magnify as the voyage progresses. As the novel draws to a conclusion, the Pequod encounters the whaling ship Rachel. The Rachel's captain asks Ahab to help him in a search and rescue effort for his whaling-crew that went missing the day before -- and the captain's son is among the missing. But when Ahab learns that the crew disappeared while tangling with Moby-Dick he refuses the call to aid in the rescue so that he may hunt Moby-Dick instead. The encounter with Moby-Dick brings a tragic end to the affair. Ishmael alone survives, using his friend Queequeg's coffin as a flotation device until he is ironically rescued by the Rachel which has continued to search for its missing crew.
Readers, teachers and students should also take note of a peculiar historical curiosity. After enjoying some success in the 1840s, the publication of Moby-Dick (1851) marked Melville's decline as a popular writer. He was unable to support himself as a writer and accepted a job at the New York Customs House. He continued to write, even as he faded into obscurity, turning to poetry in his later years. He published his poems but they were ignored and went unread. Like his novel about the great white whale, his poems are also esteemed by modern critics and scholars.
It was only in the early 1900s that Moby-Dick gained attention and acclaim. During his lifetime, the novel sold a scant 3,000 copies. In modern times the novel is not only considered a great American classic, it is also heralded as one of greatest novels in the English language. Featured in our collection of 25 Great American Novels.
Teachers and students looking for further summary and analysis might wish to read D. H. Lawrence's chapter on Moby-Dick from his book Studies in Classic American Literature.
- Herman Melville