Moby Dick Paper - Brown 1 Alex Brown Mr Cook Comp 2 22...

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Brown 1 Alex Brown Mr. Cook Comp 2 22 April 2014 Moby Dick Literary Analysis It is strange to think that people would still listen to an authority, even when knowing that particular authority is either down right insane or is giving out harsh and cruel commands. This is seen multiple times in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick . Captain Ahab, to every single member of the crew of the Pequod, was seen as crazy and out-of-his-mind. They saw Ahab as delusional and unfit for captain. Although they still listened to him knowing time and time again it would lead them straight to their deaths. There is discussion about this book on when, the crews’ last chance to save themselves was. Some say it was when they sailed past all of the bad omens just chapters before meeting the whale. Others say it was a little farther back. Select few realize though it was the very moment they gave authority to Ahab and listened to his commands. It is human nature to listen undoubtedly to authority even if it may mean their life or someone else’s. This fact was authorized by Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority. This fact is also demonstrated across a wide variety of novels as well as Moby Dick . Overall, The Pequod was doomed from the get go. The crew ultimately decided its’ fate when they followed Ahab’s first command. They all knew he was crazy and would most definitely lead them all to their ultimate death, but for some reason they kept listening to him over and over again. They kept listening not because they believed in the commands but it is that human nature to keep listening and doing as told when an authority figure presses down. Even if the crew would have wanted to over throw Ahab so they could save their lives, they couldn’t. This is demonstrated in the near end of the book when
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Brown 2 Starbuck, member of the Pequod, considers killing Ahab with a musket in the middle of the night during a storm but Starbuck in the end doesn’t because he feels it would be wrong to kill a man in his sleep. Therefore, even after attempts to stop Ahab, there is no stopping him, the crew gave him power, now there is no way to escape the death from the great white whale. In the Milgram Experiment, researchers discovered when they tested how teachers would respond when given commands to shock students when they gave an incorrect answer. After each shock the voltage would increase again and again. Eventually the shock would get so intense it would cause the student to pass out and undergo cardiac arrest. Unknowingly to the teachers,
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  • Spring '10
  • Tom
  • Moby-Dick, Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment, Captain Ahab

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