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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"Comparing Henry David Thoreau And Herman Melville's Writings." Essayworld.com. February 22, 2008. Accessed April 25, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Comparing-Henry-David-Thoreau-Herman-Melvilles/79419.
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Added: 2/22/2008 03:04:35 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1705
Pages: 7

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