Moby Dick Report

Posted by admin on December 25, 2017 in Articles

“Moby Dick”, a very well written book, by Herman Melville, is dictated and based off of nihilism. Nihilism is the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. Therefore, this whole novel is based behind the idea of nihilism. Melville describes Captain Ahab as a nihilistic man, who’s only goal in life is to kill Moby Dick, inferring that life is meaningless without whaling. Unlike Ishmael, who is a level headed guy who takes life for how it is. When Ishmael is the only one who survives and returns to land, he realizes Ahab’s point of view concerning that he did not succeed in the quest for the truth is where he fails. In Ishmael’s mind, like Nietzsche’s last man, time is only an empty movement just like life is a pointless process, a “burning ship”, moving towards an ultimate catastrophe.
There are many interpretations as to what meaning this novel has. My interpretation of this novel is that it has something to do with who you are. Inferring that what you do with your actions and your background dictates what you become. Someone who is religious and believes in God might very well have a different opinion than an atheist. Therefore, this relates back to Ahab who thinks that by killing this whale, is the only thing that will have meaning in his life. However, to the rest of the crew Moby Dick is just a whale who provides them blubber and profound whale oil. Ahab only believes in the whale itself and the rest of the crew as different ideas of the whale. Meaning that the whale is not everything to them.
In some cultures, what you do might be different than another culture that has meaning or possibly little to no meaning at all. Your views and definitions of the world could be very different than someone in a different culture. To maintain a pluralistic society, having different morals, and meanings towards life is indeed acceptable to a society that is very much diverse. If people just follow what other…