Ishmael The narrator of the novel is a keen observer, a young man with an open mind who is wary of Ahab but, like most of the crew, swept away by the captain's charisma. Ahab The "grand, ungodly, god-like man" is a deeply complex figure, one of the most controversial in American literature. His monomaniacal hunt for Moby Dick dominates the novel's plot.
Moby Dick was the Whitebeard Pirates ' main flagship. Its name was revealed in the third databook. It was, however, significantly larger than the other four and even than the already large Red Forceand as the name suggests, the whale figurehead was white.
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The narrator of the book is also a possible Everyman. He does almost nothing important in the book — except to survive the sinking of the Pequod. His job is to describe everything around him — in particular, the conflicts. His relationship with Queequeg, the harpooner, is the only relationship in the novel, and it is an odd one, at best — their relationship is portrayed, at times, the same way that a nuptial bond is.
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
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Wikimedia Commons. Moby-Dickby Herman Melville, is widely recognized as one of the centerpieces of the American Renaissance. Melville himself spent time at sea and fashioned many of the details in Moby-Dick after his own experiences traveling aboard a whaling vessel in the South Pacific.
Captain Ahab The mad captain of the PequodAhab had been a respectable Quaker whaling captain until he lost his leg to the white whale, Moby Dick. Ahab bears the name of the wicked biblical king, and an old squaw predicted at birth that his name would prove prophetic. He vows revenge on the White Whale and follows it around the world, refusing to budge in his fixed purpose. Bulkington We first meet Bulkington, the six foot tall young Virginian, in the Spouter Inn signs up continuously for whaling voyages, not wanting to spend time on land.
The character of Moby Dick is larger than life, but this is an instance where truth is as strange if not stranger than fiction. The white whale is based on a real-life cetacean called Mocha Dick. Named after the Chilean island of Mocha near which the beast was first encounteredhe was an albino sperm whale with a formidable reputation.
Ishmael: The narrator of the story, Ishmael disappears into his own tale after the first ten or so chapters, popping up periodically to give comments on the text. He is an every man; as such, it is difficult to describe specific things about him. He is a schoolteacher on the land, and has an open mind when it comes to the world around him.