Monday, May 20, 2019
Fate and Predestination in Moby Dick Essay
Fate and predestination are two entirely different themes found in Herman Melvilles Moby hammer. Fate and predestination are not one and the same. Although most people might unwittingly use the terms interchangeably, there is a very real and distinct difference. Fate is determined by man, and is the end result of a free will snatchion. In Moby Dick, Ahabs free will and whimsey that he is driven by destiny determines his own fate, the fate of his crew, and results in the inevitable destruction of the Pequod.Melville frequently uses symbolism to indicate the existence of fate. The Pequod itself is a symbol of the ill-fated journey to conquer the great clean-living colossus. On the other good deal, predestination is a theological doctrine in which God predetermines the outcome of any even outts. One assumption of predestination is that God will save some souls while condemning others to timeless damnation. If that distinction is made and held to be true, then fate leaves open the possibility that free will by man exists, while predestination eliminates it alone together.And, freewill is important in setting the many multiplex themes in Moby Dick. Moby Dick is enjoind by a navigateor known only as Ishmael. The explanation opens phone me Ishmael. Some years agonever mind how considerable preciselyhaving little or no money in my purse, and naught particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and inflict the watery part of the world. It is a management I turn over of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation.Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear or every funeral I meet and especi solelyy whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodicall y knocking peoples hats offthen, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I stub. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword I quietly restrain to the ship.This long passage tells the reader all that is needed about Ishmael. First, hes educated and intelligent. by chance he is a teacher. He talks about whaling ships being his Yale Col tholee and Harvard . So, Ishmael is qualified to act as narrator for the tale. He is also philosophical. Throughout the story Ishmael reflects on bread and exactlyter aboard the Pequod. He also delves into all sorts of academic subjects as well as theology, free will, morality, destiny and fate. However, Ishmael isnt sacking to sea to find himself. In fact, he believes all men on whaling ships are lost.Whaling is an inherently dangerous occupation, so taking a berth aboard a whaling ship is Ishmaels attempt to commit suicide. Ironically, he survives. Ahab and Ishmael are opp osites of each other. Ahab dies and Ishmael lives. Essentially, Ishmael is needed to narrate the story because he is the opposite of Ahab who is driven by what he believes to be predestination. Ishmael is trying to restore water his own fate by killing himself. But, he is still more philosophically grounded than Ahab. For example, in Chapter 96 Ishmael has an image about daydreaming and suicide There is a wisdom that is woe just now there is a woe that is madness.And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that provide resembling dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains so that even in his final swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar. He can see both the literal as well as the metaphorical meaning in this image. Ahab cant make the distinction. Ishmael has been to sea before and i snt driven by fate, but he does know whaling is a dangerous business in which injury and death can occur.So, through an act of free will he is tempting his own fate. However, Ishmael in the course of his narrative does make many references to fate. As described, the whaling vessel Pequod is a symbol of doom. Gloomy, black and adorned with whale teeth and bones, the Pequod is a floating coffin named after a Native American tribe that didnt survive long after the Europeans arrived in North America. It should be noted that there are times in the story when Ishmael disappears for long stretches and replace by soliloquies often delivered by Captain Ahab.Ahab is the one-legged captain of the Peqoud. From the time his leg is bitten off by a whale during a previous journey, he has pursued the huge sporty whale. Moby-Dick is Ahabs nemesis which is mis beneathstood, mysterious, and difficult to interpret. But Ahab attempts to do just that his efforts are futile and eventually fatal. In fact, Ahab interprets the whale as being the physical incarnation of evil living in the world and believes against habitual sense that he can defy the natural world and destroy the whale.All that most maddens and torments all that stirs up the lees of things all truth with malice in it all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain all the subtle demonisms of life and thought all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whales white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his tropic hearts shell upon it. This quote, from Chapter 41 indicates that Ahab lacks the ability to beneathstand the world around him.Ahab cant see that the loss of his leg is a result of his dangerous occupation, but, only sees it as evil persecuting him. As a result, he believes it is his inescapable destiny to destroy the evil. And, this soliloqu y from Chapter 37 shows Ahabs over confidence and belief that he is predestined to destroy the whale. Come, Ahabs compliments to ye come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed blueprint is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run.Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents beds, unerringly I rush Naughts an obstacle, naughts an angle to the iron way Ahab does several other things in this passage as well. First, he is attempting to inspire his crew to help him in his quest. Finally, and more importantly, Ahab he feels he has no control over his deportment. In the end, it is Ahabs irrational behavior and free will, which he very much had control over, that resulted in his death, the destruction of the Peqoud, and demise of the crew.Therefore, predestination had nothing to with the destruction of the ship and crew. Even in his last moments Ahab believed it was predestination that destroyed him. Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale to the last I grapple with thee from hells heart I stab at thee for hates sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool and since neither can be mine, let me then tug to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whaleThus, I give up the spear Ahab curses the whale and his fate as he is going under. Moby Dick disappears and everyone goes under except Ishmael. Moby Dick is a complex tale with too many themes and intricacies to delve into in just four pages. However, it would take aim been very difficult to narrate the story any differently than what Melville did. Ahab didnt understand fate or predestination. Yes, he believed he was predestined to conquer evil, but that was only because his view of the world was so literal, he couldnt see it any other way.If he did have a clearer view of life and t he world, he would have seen that losing his leg was an occupational hazard and would never went have gone off on a monomaniacal quest in the first place. Right up until the moment he started to go under the water, Ahab couldnt see how his own risks could lead to his death, and he didnt believe he would ever recede his quest to kill the whale and eradicate evil. Ishmael knew the risks involved from the very beginning of the voyage. That was his motivation for going on the journey. So, man created the twist of fate that allowed Ishmael to survive and Ahab to perish.