Name Subject Instructor Date Title Introduction Moby Dick is one of the most popular novels in American Literature written by Herman Melville. One of the characteristics of Moby Dick is its allegorical manner of religious interpretation. The religious views in this novel are very forward…
This continuous conflict is shown through the two major characters, Ishmael and Ahab. It is the symbol of Melville’s own personality and outlook, a dilemma or inner conflict within the writer’s own mind. Ishmael is Melville’s religious self while Ahab is his wants to give up all religious faith. God’s Appeal to Mankind Melville also uses a lot of Biblical symbolism while naming his characters. The name of the narrator is Ishmael is also very significant. The name Ish-ma-el means “God shall hear”. Ishmael is a representative of a religious disciple, and he is not an extremist in his religious faith. At the same time, he does not deny God or look at God as his enemy like Ahab. Being close to God, he is seen as an optimistic character while Ahab’s character has a dark shade due to his blindness and hatred towards God. It is the appeal of God to live the life in harmony with nature. Ahab represents the rebellious step of the author’s mind to defy all religious protocol, “O Nature and O soul of man! How far beyond all utterance are your linked analogies” (Melville 248). Immortality of Soul and Mortality of Body There are certain characters that represent the importance of the soul. The character of Queequeg for example is an amiable Polynesian harpooner. Queequeg is a God-like figure, with good heart, kindness, generosity, courage and extreme dignity. The protagonist Ishmael’s opinion about him was not good initially. It was because of his appearance. He seemed to be very obnoxious. He felt him a barbarian and a cannibal type of person, but after coming close to him, he came to know the civilized nature of Queequeg. He also realized that the spirit of the person is important and not his outward appearance or his body. Ishmael states, “You cannot hide the soul” (Melville p.52). The spirit or soul is the only immortal thing according to Ishmael. In the beginning, Ishmael recounts the reader some perils, which are dangerous to the body and the soul as well. He thinks that he is inviting a risk by going on a whaling voyage, but he is not feeling sorry and he is not shaking with the idea of death. The unknown enemies can destroy the ship; they can destroy his body, but the soul can never be perished as it is immortal. The novelist gives the reference of polytheism, where many deities are worshipped. It is the direct reference to Hinduism and Hindu Philosophy. It is mentioned in the Holy book of Hindus, Bhagawat Gita. The following sermons describe the immortality of the soul. The original verses are in Sanskrit and the English connotation is given below: Sanskrit : "nainam chindanti shastrani nainam dahati pavakah na chainam kledayanty apo na sosayati marutah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 23) English: God says, “ The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.” Sanskrit: "na jayate mriyate va kadacin nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah ajo nityah sasvato ’yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarire" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 20) English: In the above paragraph God says that the soul is never born nor dies at any time. Soul has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. Soul is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. Soul is not slain when the body is slain." Practical/Logical Religious Outlook Ishmael is against extremity in religious practices. He calls religious ...
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