Captain Ahab in 'Moby-Dick' Analytical Essay by Labyrinth

Captain Ahab in 'Moby-Dick'
This essay explores the complex character of Captain Ahab in Herman Melville's famous novel, Moby-Dick.
# 29814 | 755 words | 1 source | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on Aug 09, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This essay focuses on the character of Captain Ahab in Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick. This essay attempts to humanize Ahab by exposing the motivation behind his behavior, and placing him in his environment as a reactor to natural events. The paper looks at Ahab as a mirror reflection of the ugliest parts of humanity. By suggesting that Captain Ahab is in some ways a reflection of humanity, this essay attempts to humanize his monomaniacal characteristics. Ahab is the captain of the Pequod, but this essay also suggests that he is the captain of the novel, steering the fiction from beginning to end.

From the Paper:

"Captain Ahab appears to be a communion of man and man's perception of alterity. Man naturally detests and abhors all adverse characteristics to which he cannot deny he is akin. Captain Ahab seems to be the imperfect reflection that most would rather not acknowledge as their own. He is the modern "Everyman"-molded to encompass the raw nature that makes him human and intrinsically aligned with the industrial, religious, and economic paradigms characteristic of the nineteenth century. Captain Ahab is as mysterious and complex as all humanity, and one can no more hate him than he can hate himself. He is composed of "a thousand bold dashes of character" (Herman Melville's Moby-Dick MD 67) which makes him a virtual collage of human experience. He is a captain, an ever-branching tree of morals and virtues, and a deep mystic ocean many fathoms deep."

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