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Moby-Dick | Study Guide

Herman Melville

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Moby-Dick | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

moby-dick-herman-melvilleSymbolsThe White WhaleCaptain Ahab's nemesis is symbolic of nature, forces beyond human control, and impossible goals. The ShipThe Pequod and its whaling equipment symbolize human society with all of its struggles and dangers.Queequeg's CoffinAssociated with death, the coffin in Moby-Dick ironically saves a life.Sources: The Atlantic,, Encyclopaedia Britannica, PBS, Power Moby-Dick, Smithsonian Magazine Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Year Melville abandoned a whaling ship and lived among a tribe of cannibals1842Year of Melville's final journey at sea: a voyage with his brother, Thomas1860Melville's age when he signed on to a whaling crew22Copies of the novel sold during Melville's lifetime<4,000As a young New Yorker, Herman Melville set out to sea aboard a whaling ship, which he deserted. His subsequent capture, rescue, mutiny, imprisonment, escape, and time in the U.S. Navy provided fodder for his popular seagoing novels: Typee, Moby-Dick, and Omoo.HERMAN MELVILLE1819–91AuthorThe enraged, one-legged Captain Ahab embarks on a quest for revenge against the white whale that took his leg. His story, narrated by crew member Ishmael, is full of symbolism and larger-than-life characters. Set at the height of the American whaling industry in the mid-19th century, Moby-Dick explores the limits of human understanding.Madman vs.White WhaleOVERVIEWNANTUCKETSTARTNEAR THE EQUATORThe crew sights Moby Dick and hunts him. PACIFIC OCEANCaptain Ahab emerges and is seen on deck.INDIANOCEANThe crew kills several whales—but not the white whale.A typhoon hits. Is it a good omen or a warning?The Pequod sets sail. The Pequod sinks, and only Ishmael survives.Unity & DivisionUnited behind Ahab's mission, the crew of the Pequod works together despite differences. Authority & ObedienceAhab tries to take on God's authority and dominate forces beyond human comprehension.DestinyProphesies, fate, and superstition all play a role in shaping the Pequod's journey. Main CharactersMoby DickPowerful white whale; took off Captain Ahab's leg QueequegHarpooner aboard the Pequod; Ishmael's friendIshmaelNarrator; sailor aboard the Pequod Father MappleChaplain; preaches powerful sermon about JonahStarbuckFirst mate aboard the Pequod Captain AhabCaptain of the Pequod; on a quest to kill Moby Dick Narrator, Chapter 1all me Ishmael.Herman Melville1851EnglishNovelAuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageMoby-DickAdventure123564ThemesMoby-Dickby the Numbers

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