Moby Dick

Brandon Greene
Period D
Moby Dick essay

      “Moby Dick” is written by Herman Melville. Herman Melville was born in 1820 in New York, and was actually aboard a whaling ship in his lifetime and he claimed that was his “Yale and Harvard schooling” He had an anti-transcendentalist point of view, with his outlook on people being that there is much disunity and division. “Moby Dick” was a monumental book in the whaling industry but also had an Anti-transcendentalist viewpoint in the book. Anti transcendentalism is anything that would cancel out any transcendentalist theory or is against it. “Moby Dick” is about Captain Ahab, a whaler who had lost his leg to a white whale named Moby Dick. Throughout the book Capt. Ahab is chasing the white whale for vengeance on his leg.
      One anti-transcendentalist view in this book is Captain Ahab’s lust for vengeance. Captain Ahab is ready to sail to his death to get vengeance on his leg and to kill the whale that took it. And also the fact that the whale took his leg could be and anti-transcendentalist view because it took away Captain Ahab’s potential. But killing the whale would also take away the whales potential. Herman Melville is trying to make the point that vengeance is useless and will only take away both parties’ potential. And Ahab’s lust for vengeance also puts his crew members’ lives in jeopardy.
      The fact that Ahab is risking his crew’s life is also anti-transcendentalist in a way that he’s not being self reliant in his quest for vengeance. He is mostly relying on his crew to find and kill the whale which is also kind of selfish because he can just sit back and watch as his plans unfold and his vengeance is wrought. His anger towards the white whale is unnecessary, and has only negative results.
The fact that this book sold so well and still is popular today is quite disturbing to me because of its anti-transcendentalist view. Although Melville is accurate with his views on how people would react in...