Moby Dick As A Reflection Of American Political Life Essay

2027 Words Oct 20th, 2016 9 Pages
Despite the countless arguments from scholars of the Pequod and its crew representing an image beyond humanity, Melville provides much evidence in Moby-Dick with regard to the humanities of the crew as a reflection of American political life. The American political life and relationship to the world of the 1850s in Moby-Dick can be found within the Pequod’s crew, predominantly Captain Ahab, and their interactions with the various whaling ships throughout their voyage. The Pequod’s crew—with all its "democratic dignity"—comprises a "deputation from all the isles of the earth” (Melville 126: 132). The Pequod is a model of a democracy and American political life, embracing the different cultures from all over the world aboard the ship. However, all thirty crewmembers are “Isolatoes,”— that is, not acknowledging the common continent of men—rather, “living on a separate continent of his own” (131). He associates that the isolato way of thinking with anxiety, paralysis, and wrath. Nevertheless, though, Melville tells us that they are united, or “federated along one keel” (132). Within this “federation,” particular traits begin to arise throughout their journey, particularly isolation (isolato) and desire for domination. These two characteristics are often associated with Ahab, but Kim Leilani Evans has argued that if Ahab has power over the crew, “it is because they share, at some level, his motivations (Evans 107). Evans argument is further supported by the illustration of the…

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