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Views on Mysterious Colur in Moby Dick

  • Date Submitted: 06/01/2010 04:40 AM
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Academic Thesis

Views on Mysterious Color in Moby Dick

by Wang Zhi

American Literature                             Renmin University of China
Advisor:   Professor Chen Shidan                   December 25, 2009
One of the greatest writers in American literary history in particular for his masterpiece Moby Dick, Herman Melville has gathered increasing fame. Moby Dick is widely regarded as the summit of American nineteenth-century fictions with heart-shaking whaling experience, philosophical meditation of realism and fantasy, invested with the mysterious color of romance.   The thesis intends to analyze the embodiment, cause and significance of mysterious color in the novel.   What’s more important is that the writer has borrowed Northrop Frye’s critic theory called Myth criticism or Archetypal criticism and Jungian psychology to lay the theoretical basis for the first chapter and also set up for the whole thesis a holistic structure and organization.
  A. Embodiment of Mystical Color in Moby Dick
In Webster’s New World College Dictionary, the word “mystic” means “beyond human comprehension; mysterious or enigmatic” and in the second entry under the word “mystical,” it interprets the word as “of mystics of mysticism; especially relating to or based on intuition, contemplation, or meditation of a spiritual nature” (Agnes 954). According to Steven Fanning, “mysticism is the direct intuition or experience of God or every religious tendency that discovers the direct way to God through inner experience without the meditation of reasoning.   The constitutive element in mysticism is immediacy of contact with the deity” (Fanning 2).   This definition emphasizes the direct communion with God. In Christianity, this experience usually takes the form of a vision or sense of union with God.
Many attempts have been made to describe the fundamental characteristics of mystical experience.   Traditionally, it has been asserted that the experiential union of creature and...


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