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Moby Dick

Moby Dick In the novel Moby Dick, Ishmael is saved while the rest of the Pequods crew die at sea. There is a specific point in the theme of the novel where each crew member sealed their fate. These thematic reasons make sense at the end of the novel. The Pequods crew dies because of the pledge they made to Ahab. They put their lives on the line to capture the White Whale. At the time, all of the crew members on deck thought Moby Dick was a actual whale they were trying to catch. As the story progresses, they start to realize Moby Dick is”god-like” and “immortal.” This leaves them chasing a Whale that is more important then life itself.

Thus they are damned to death. Ishmael makes the same pledge the rest of the crew makes and yet he becomes the lone survivor of the Pequods crew. The thematic reason for his survival is when he cleanses his hands in the whale blubber in the “Squeeze of the Hand” chapter. He says “I forgot all about our horrible oath..I washed my hands and my heart of it.” Queequeg takes the position as the savior for Ishmael. Through him, Ishmael will be entered back into the “joint stock company,” even though Queequeg will die.

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Melvilles ultimate point regarding Ahabs concept of the human condition is that maybe it is God who compels us to do the things we do and that we do not control our own decisions. God may have us predestined for riches, glory, or sorrow.


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