Comparing Henry David Thoreau And Herman Melville's Writings



Henry David Thoreau and Herman Melville focused their writings on how
man was affected by nature. They translated their philosophies though both the
portrayal of their protagonist and their own self exploration. In Moby Dick,
Melville writes about Ahab's physical and metaphysical struggle over the great
white whale, Moby Dick, symbolic of man's struggle against the overwhelming
forces of nature. Ahab's quest is reported and experienced through the eyes of
Ishmael. Melville's use of the third person's biographical standpoint exposes
conflicting viewpoints that were both in agreement and disagreement with Ahab's
quest, creatively allowing Melville to transcend the story line and ...

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all aspects of nature and its relevance
to human life. They explore the powers and influences of nature over mankind.
However, Melville centers his point of view upon mankind in conflict with
nature's forces, while Thoreau believes that if mankind experiences nature, we
will envelope ideas which will teach mankind to live harmoniously in our natural
environment; in turn, allowing individuals to reach the highest levels of
achievement synergistically with nature.
In Moby Dick, Herman Melville illustrates man's quest to attain the
supreme power of God through the monomaniacal Captain Ahab. Captain Ahab is
obsessed with the desire to destroy Moby Dick, his nemesis, which is truly
symbolic of man's overwhelming quest to control and conquer nature. Melville
depicts Ahab as an evil, egotistical human whose willingness to combat the
forces of nature represents man's failure to understand his place in the
universe. Melville uses Ishmael to voice his philosophies which portray ...

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like
Celoni's cast Perseus." (Pg. 111 - 112). Thus, we see a formidable figure
affected by a plague on his soul venturing through the water's of hell to reach
a deadly quest. Ishmael even finds him almost as crucified as the God Ahab
thinks he could become as stated here: "And no only that, but Moby stricken
Ahab stood before them with a crucifixion in his face; in all the nameless regal
overbearing dignity of some mighty woe. "(Pg 111). Consequently, Melville's Ahab
will attempt to transcend his crew and himself into a conflict with nature.
This conflict becomes the warped and demonic idea of a man willing to take on
the power s of Moby Dick which is the epitome of the greatest ...

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Added: 4/12/2007 07:18:54 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1704
Pages: 7

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