Herman Melville Writing Styles in Moby-Dick

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Point of View

The story of Moby Dick is told from the first person point of view. Ishmael, a newcomer to the whaling business, is the narrator of the novel. Ishmael tells the story after it has already happened. In the first part of the novel, before he has boarded the whaling ship, Ishmael is fully involved in the action of the story. After he boards the ship and it leaves on its journey, Ishmael becomes a minor character, telling about the action that is going on around him, but not having a very big role in this action.

Much of the novel is taken up with long descriptive passages where Ishmael talks about what is going on around him. Ishmael's studious, schoolmaster's personality with its innate desire to teach prompts him to talk in detail about the whales and the inner workings of the whaling industry. Where there...

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This section contains 801 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Moby-Dick Study Guide
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Moby-Dick from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.