Moby-Dick Essay

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In the following essay, Davis, an associate professor of English at Northeast Louisiana University, describes how Moby-Dick reflects its author's philosophical, religious, and social ideals.

Since the revival of interest in Herman Melville in the early 1920s, Moby-Dick, the author's sixth novel, has come to be considered his masterpiece. Part romantic sea tale, part philosophical drama, the story of Ishmael, Ahab, and the white whale combines Melville's experiences aboard the whaler Acushnet with his later immersion in such classic authors as William Shakespeare, John Milton, François Rabelais, and Laurence Sterne. After several years as a sailor, both in the whale fleet and in the United States navy, Melville returned to his native New York in 1844 and soon began writing about his experiences. His earliest works, such as Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847), were loosely based upon his time in the Marquesas Islands and Tahiti. Melville's third novel, Mardi...

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This section contains 1,856 words
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Moby-Dick from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.