Essay about John Melville 's Moby Dick

1773 Words Dec 10th, 2014 8 Pages
The idea of Manifest Destiny emerged during the time of the Mexican-American War as a term coined for how America was obliged or destined to spread its influence across the entire continent based off a divine will (Manifest). Rather than call it American Imperialism, the term Manifest Destiny emerged to mask the real intentions behind American expansionism in the 19th century. Comparable to how the term “Manifest Destiny” originated, through the acquisition of new land post-Mexican-American War, which directly resulted in the Compromise of 1850 and further caused problems with slavery and inevitably fueled a Civil War, is Ahab and his greed/madness which has drove him to seek vengeance on a force which is incapable of being controlled in Moby Dick. Furthermore, the way in which Americans exploited the resources in the newly acquired land with their treatment of the Indians, is highly indicative of the nature of whaling depicted in Moby Dick. Melville displays the irony of the Manifest Destiny and the overall mood of American politics during this time in his novel, Moby Dick. The Manifest Destiny originated in an article during the middle of 1845 before America expanded into the Southwest and the Oregon Territory but after the annexation of Texas. Unsurprisingly, the next quarter of a century was the period that saw the greatest extent of expansion in our country’s history with a near 60% increase in land area (Haynes). The drive west was dominated by a sense of…

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