Essay, Research Paper: Moby Dick By Herman Melville

Literature: Herman Melville

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Moby Dick Story by Herman Melville This is a story about a sailor named Ishmael,
who is the narrator. Captain Ahab, the one-legged commander of the ship Pequod,
is the main character. Ahab has sworn to kill this huge whale, Moby Dick, who
took away his leg. Starbuck is the first mate of the Pequod, and Queequeg,
Tashtego, and Daggoo are the three harpooners. This story takes place in Great
Britain, all over the eastern Atlantic Ocean and in the Indian Ocean, around the
early 1800s. It begins with Ishmael becoming extremely agitated. He decides to
go out to sea on a whaling ship. In the port of New Bedford, he meets and shares
a room with a harpooner named Queequeg. The two of them become good friends, and
agree to sail together. The day after they arrive at Nantucket, Ishmael begins
searching for a whaling ship getting ready to leave harbor. Out of three ships
ready to leave, he chooses the Pequod. The owners of the ship are Captain Peleg
and Captain Bildad, and they are excited to hear of Queequeg from Ishmael and
glad to let him join the crew. They are told the captain of the ship is named
Ahab. Peleg and Bildad say that he is a good man, but because of some strange
illness, he is confined to his cabin. On Christmas day, and with Ahab still in
his cabin, the Pequod sets sail in the Atlantic. As the weather begins to warm
up several months after leaving port, Ahab is finally seen on deck. The
strangest thing about Ahab is his peg leg, it is made of ivory. As the weeks
passed by, Ahab started to become friendlier. One day, he called the crew before
him. He tells them that the sole mission of the Pequod is to kill Moby Dick.
Moby Dick is a gigantic whale with a crooked jaw and a deformed forehead. He has
never been defeated, and has attacked and sunk many large ships. Ahab admits he
hates Moby Dick for taking his leg away, and he wants revenge. The crew agrees
to this challenge, and swear to kill him. The only one who is not excited about
hunting for Moby Dick is Starbuck. For many months, the Pequod sails South,
through the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, and into the Indian Ocean.
Along the way, they kill and drain the oil from every whale they encounter. Each
time they meet another ship, Ahab begins the conversation with "Hast seen
the White Whale?". Finally, after entering the Japanese sea, the Pequod
encounters a whaling ship named the Enderby. The Enderby’s captain had just
recently lost his arm to Moby Dick. Ahab becomes so excited at the news that he
breaks his ivory leg. The ship’s carpenter builds him a new one. Once reaching
the waters around the equator, the Pequod meets another whaling ship, the
Rachel. They had seen Moby Dick, and had become separated from one of the
whaling boats during the battle. Ahab refuses to help them look for the missing
men. At last, Ahab spots Moby Dick. In the first day of fighting, the whale is
harpooned many times, but escapes after smashing Ahab’s boat. On the second
day, the whale is harpooned again, but still escapes. On the third day, Ahab’s
harpoon pierces the whale, but the rope catches him by the neck and Moby Dick
drags him to the bottom of the sea. An angry Moby Dick rams and sinks the Pequod.
Only Ishmael survives, and the Rachel rescues him.
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