Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville's Moby Dick - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
In the American history, Puritans, who were mainly Protestants, had championed campaigns for the regulation of worshipping activities. They were not only strict observers of religious issues, but also the moral…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.3% of users find it useful
Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melvilles Moby Dick
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville's Moby Dick"

Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville’s Moby Dick The theme of religion cuts across Melville’s Moby Dick work. In the American history, Puritans, who were mainly Protestants, had championed campaigns for the regulation of worshipping activities. They were not only strict observers of religious issues, but also the moral standards that were declining in the society. Melville views religion as a cover up that worshipper use to hide their evil activities. According to him, man is by nature evil, and perfectionist only exists in an ideal world (Melville, p.4).
Melville uses two characters, namely Ishmael and Ahab in his work. The two are secluded and remain in isolation with the sole purpose of investigating religious matters around the world. Ahab does not believe in the biblical story of creation in the Garden of Eden. Instead of having a desire for spiritual nourishment, he stays firm and confronts wickedness. The firmness is symbolized by a whale in the book (Melville; pp.178-179) Ishmael perceives Ahab as a weak man who is only after avenging for the sins he committed. Although Ahab professed Christianity, he was just a hypocrite who was only hiding in the masses. On the other hand, another character by the name Starbuck is unsure about how God should be shown respect. Human beings have weaknesses that sometimes disconnect them with their maker. In order to build a relationship, they must overcome their internal emotions and weaknesses and honor their maker. Due to the disrespect, the alluded Adam showed to the maker, he is eliminated from the universe. Unlike Ahab, Ishmael, who observed the teachings of his maker is blessed immensely (Melville, pp.153-156).
The traits demonstrated by the characters in Melville’s work are a clear revelation of his religious beliefs. He uses the Whale to symbolize the nature of God. God has supernatural powers and is both omnipresent and omnipotent. Ahab tries to go against the will of God and tries to collude with Satan. Melville is of the view that those who go against the will of God are likely to be punished severely (Melville, pp.483-484).
In the book, a Priest by the name Mapple uses Jonah in as an example of a person who went contrary to the wishes of God. Consequently, the fish swallowed him. According to the priest, we cannot honor God before we honor ourselves (Melville, pp.344-345) Melville advises that we should forego our personal desires for the sake of worshipping the Lord. Ishmael comes out as a character whom God wants human beings to be while Ahab is demonstrated as a disgrace to religion. Ahab practices idolatry which is against God’s commandments and sets his worshipping standards for himself. On the other hand, Ishmael, who is a Presbyterian, is against idolatry and stands firm (Melville, pp.40-43).
Melville’s philosophy supports the attributes given to God; all-powerful and all knowing. In the American society, people remain divided the concept of freedom and determinism. Those who subscribe to the freedom school of thought believe that a man has the freedom to choose between what is considered morally right and evil. The Puritan supports the notion and call upon implementation of strict religious laws to regulate worshipping. On the contrary, proponents of determinism believe that the fate of man was decided long before he came to earth. Man has no control of his destiny and therefore cannot be for committing what is considered evil. Proponents of freedom and determinism remain at loggerhead to date, and the debate is not likely to be soon (Melville, pp 80-90).
Work Cited
Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. American Library, 1892.Print Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville's Moby Dick Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville'S Moby Dick Essay)
“Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville'S Moby Dick Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 1 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville's Moby Dick

Moby Dick

...?Moby Dick The book ‘Moby- Dick’ written by Herman Melville is a story whose setting is mostly at sea and talks of interactions between sailors and encounters with whales. In the 41st chapter, the author in the first voice tells of the oaths that the sailors have taken against Moby Dick to hunt down and kill him. This paper also seeks to discuss the themes encompassed within this chapter among other literary aspects that are included. The chapter opens with Ishmael narrating the oathing ceremony that the sailors had undertaken after their captain, Ahab, had lost a leg and poor medical service caused by...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Theme of Madness in the Novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville

...even jumps from a whale board. And unable to control his emotions or frenzies and illusions, he jumps from the whale lowering for the last time. Captain Ahab is the epitome of insanity in the novel. Of all the characters in the novel “Moby-Dick”, Captain Ahab seems to be the most insane. Insanity of Captain Ahab is explored mainly at three levels in the novel. The first aspect lies in the history of Ahab’s insanity which initiated long before the loss of his legs; the second is when it reached its prominence during the chase of the whale and the ultimate insanity reflected in the final ordeal of the novel which captivates revenge from a monstrous beast. Conclusion The oceanic world of...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Otherness in Moby Dick

.... The capacity to reveal human nature within fiction is especially true when demonstrating various ways of life, or aspects of social culture. Quality fiction, regardless of when it was written or the length of the written text, can reveal significant aspects of human nature and thus reveal us to ourselves as we identify various elements of the story with our everyday lives. Literature such as Melville's novel Moby Dick or The Whale remind us that even when we feel we belong within a society, there are often elements of otherness that keep us separate. One of the first examples of Otherness found within the book is Ishmael's enforced relationship with...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Novel Moby Dick uncivilized because of the way he clothes himself. The irony is that the harpooner is a prince in his land and he merely stays with "the civilized" people to watch and learn of them. Who then is more civilized Citations Page "civilized." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 25 October 2009 Hayford, Harrison, and Hershel Parker. Herman Melville Moby Dick: An Authoritative Text Reviews and Letters by Melville Analogous Sources and Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1967. "humanize." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 25 October...
3 Pages(750 words)Book Report/Review

Men, Friendship and Companionship in Moby Dick by Herman Melville

...Men, Friendship and Companionship in Moby Dick by Herman Melville He seemed to take to me quite as naturally and unbiddenly as I to him; and when our smoke was over, he pressed his forehead against mine, clasped me round the waist, and said that henceforth we were married; meaning, in his country's phrase, that we were bosom friends; he would gladly die for me, if need should be.1 Moby Dick is the epic tale of one man, Captain Ahab, pitted against a mighty force of nature represented by the title character, the whale. It's not a testament to the brave human spirit, however, but only to human ego and vanity. Moby Dick is of course a powerful tale of sea adventure... is good...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Moby Dick

...Running Head: MOBY DICK Moby Dick [The [The of the Moby Dick Thesis ment In Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick, there are certain events and situations which are related to the plot and the characters and these events and situations signal things to come or happen in future. Broadly speaking, these events and situations represent foreshadowing devices in prospective course of action of the novel. Introduction A man's life can be exceptionally different according to his acceptance of morals. Taking place in the 1800s, Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Literary analysis of Moby Dick

...Literary analysis of Moby Dick Although Melville was not deeply read in science, Moby-Dick (1851) prophetically details the great scientific upheavalof 1859: the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. A primary subtext of Melville's novel is the passing of pre-Darwinian, anthropocentric thought, espoused by Ahab, and the inauguration of a version of Darwin's more ecological evolution, proffered by Ishmael (Buchholz 50). With Ahab's demise end the related pre-Darwinian beliefs that man, through his rational faculties, sits atop and controls the great chain of being; that civilized man is fundamentally different from and...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Abortion and Religious Aspects

...Abortion and Religious Aspects According to a journal published last year by an author known as Mary Castle, religious organizations have been in the forefront in educating the society various effects related to abortion (Castle 1). Various Christian fundamentalists together with the Catholic Church have been cited among those who publicly oppose abortion in the United States. Religious authorities teach members of the public that those who commit the act of abortion are murderers. Moreover, religious groups acknowledge the public that abortion is against the will of God. The journal indicates that abortion is against religious...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

A short analytical response to Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (second half)

... A short analytical response to "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville. Chapters 23-71. Ishmael sets out to find a boat for use in carrying out a whaling exercise. It is in this course of action that he encounters s the crew whom they join in the ship, the Pequod. All of them seem to share a similar endeavor .i.e. whale hunting adventure, except for the ship’s leader, Captain Ahab. He clearly states his longing to kill Moby Dick the white whale for taking his leg. The crew heads for the equator where they expect to find the whale. The text brings out the various characters’ determination, strength, weakness, fear, and acceptance of fate in their adventure while revealing Moby Dick’s mystery and power in subduing his opponents. … at times... , and...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Moby Dick, Melville 9780142000083 (Penguin anniversary edition) the sailors believes. The narrator exposes that the pagans were seen as more ethical compared to the Christians. The cases of religious extremism have led to the rise and observation of beliefs such as fate. Motifs They are the recurring literature structures in the plot that are used to emphasize various themes. The main recurring option is the ‘whiteness that is used to portray unnatural creatures in the story. It is used further to express the white whale unlike in other contexts where white is known to convey purity. Symbols The Pequod was used as a symbol of doom for the ship and its crew. It was an extinct community in the U.S; hence symbolizing the ship being destroyed (Melville 60). There are...
4 Pages(1000 words)Book Report/Review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Religious and Philosophical Aspects in Melville's Moby Dick for FREE!

Contact Us