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Literary Precedents for Jaws

Peter Benchley
This Study Guide consists of approximately 7 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Jaws.
This section contains 130 words
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Benchley's book can be read as a parody of Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851), a great American epic. A great white shark fills the role of Melville's albino whale. Like Moby Dick, the great fish is seen by hunters not simply as an unusually dangerous force, but as something possessing a malignant will.

It seems to be hunting them. "He was waiting for us," yells Brody on the final day of the hunt. As in Melville, the hunt continues for several days. On the final day, Quint's boat suffers the fate of the Pequod, and Chief Brody, like Ishmael (Melville's hero), is the only survivor. While a far less complex character than Melville's Captain Ahab, Quint, like the captain, perishes with his boat, caught in the line of a harpoon.

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This section contains 130 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Jaws Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Jaws from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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