Otherness in Moby Dick - Essay Example

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Otherness in Moby Dick

The capacity to reveal human nature within fiction is especially true when demonstrating various ways of life, or aspects of social culture. Quality fiction, regardless of when it was written or the length of the written text, can reveal significant aspects of human nature and thus reveal us to ourselves as we identify various elements of the story with our everyday lives. Literature such as Melville's novel Moby Dick or The Whale remind us that even when we feel we belong within a society, there are often elements of otherness that keep us separate. One of the first examples of Otherness found within the book is Ishmael's enforced relationship with Queequeg. Otherness is established when Ishmael checks into a very crowded whalers' inn, the Spouter Inn, at which the only accommodation to be had is a shared bed with a harpooneer. Although he agrees to the necessity easily enough, Ishmael begins to have strong misgivings about the idea as the night draws forward and he has yet to meet the man, "the more I pondered over this harpooneer, the more I abominated the thought of sleeping with him" (18). ...Show more


Instructor name Date Otherness in Moby Dick Fiction is often mistaken as being synonymous with fantasy with some reason. It is defined as “an imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented” or “a literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact” (“Fiction”, 2000)…
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