Now admired as a masterpiece of American literature and considered one of the greatest novels of all time, Moby-Dick was published to unfavorable reviews, and its author, Herman Melville, was subsequently unable to make a living as a writer. He wrote just three more novels after Moby-Dick and then retired from literary life, working as a customs officer, writing poems, a novella, and a few short stories. Not until the s were the multi-layered qualities of his epic novel fully appreciated.
Written inMoby Dick is a classic of American literature. Melville was good at that kind of writing, even though, when this first was published, the book was pretty much harshed on by everyone. Little did the critics back then know how famous the novel and its first line would become.
Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt appeared at three Los Angeles library branches Saturday to read aloud from Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and discuss its complexities with audience members. Host Arun Rath talks to Oswalt about his obsession with the white whale. Send us your best character summary of the novel.
Ishmael later finds out that Ahab lost his leg to a particularly nasty whale, who bit it off; this whale is called Moby Dickand is famous for its whiteness, its ferocity, and its inability to be caught. Despite fears of Ahab—and the harsh-sounding prophecies of a man named Elijah, who warns Ishmael and Queequeg of the captain—the two men decide to ship out on the Pequod. The ship leaves Nantucket on Christmas Day.
It is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ishmael, who turns to the sea for meaning, relays to the audience the final voyage of the Pequoda whaling vessel. Amid a story of tribulation, beauty, and madness, the reader is introduced to a number of characters, many of whom have names with religious resonance.
The book is sailor Ishmael 's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahabcaptain of the whaling ship Pequodfor revenge on Moby Dickthe giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissancethe work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in
Sign in. 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. The whale caused the loss of Ahab's leg years before, leaving Ahab to stomp the boards of his ship on a peg leg.
The novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville is an epic tale of the voyage of the whaling ship the Pequod and its captain, Ahab, who relentlessly pursues the great Sperm Whale the title character during a journey around the world. The narrator of the novel is Ishmaela sailor on the Pequod who undertakes the journey out of his affection for the sea. Although Queequeg appears dangerous, he and Ishmael must share a bed together and the narrator quickly grows fond of the somewhat uncivilized harpooner.
Born in New York City inHerman Melville was the third of eight children in a wealthy merchant family. Though Melville attained some acclaim during the height of his writing career, his writing career faltered and he ended up working as a middle-ranking customs officer in his later years. When he died at the age of 72, all of his works were out of print. Moby-Dick is part adventure tale, part ecological study and part philosophical rumination.