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Moby-Dick Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 139 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Moby-Dick.
This section contains 2,566 words
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Critical Essay #2

Dillingham, in the following excerpt, sees the novel's narrator, Ishmael, as a character who represents Melville's theme of the isolation of individuals from the rest of humanity.

Throughout Moby-Dick, the theme of human isolation is prevalent. Each character exists as an island. While they influence each others' lives, they can never fully understand each other or experience a merger of souls. This is one reason Ishmael admits to a "strange sort of insanity" when he tells how he felt when squeezing the sperm in Chapter 94. He wanted then to say to his companions:

"Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves . . . universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness." His was, indeed, a "strange sort of insanity", as he looks back on it, for Ishmael has come to realize the truth of man's unalterable isolation. This is a central theme not only...

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This section contains 2,566 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Moby-Dick Study Guide
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Moby-Dick from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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