Moby Dick, the White Whale

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Moby Dick, the White Whale
An interpretation
Points to ponder
• 1. The five conflicts: man - man, God, society, nature,
and himself
• 2. The big white whale ( an archetype, a brother, a
super-natural power, a teacher, a destroyer of human
will and determination)
• 3. Ahab ( a sea captain, a leader, a tragic figure)
• 4. Ishmael ( a wanderer, a fortune teller, a recorder
and observer of human tragedy)
• 5. The beauty of human tragedy--- any human hero is
an Ahab, and any great human act is, to some extent.
tragic.
Man and water
Our powerful brother created by God one day older than us
Melville’s day
The conflict between the brothers
We will be punished if we have killed our brother
Brother killing brother
Ahab in the movie
Ahab in the novel
Ishmael and his mother
Ishmael and his mother
Jesus Christ and his mother
Cultural products of
Moby Dick by H. Melville
The super-natural power
God
The human fate
The testing stone
The unknown difficulties
To be, or not to be, that’s a question
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