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Moby Dick and Fate

  • Date Submitted: 01/06/2013 07:23 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.1 
  • Words: 891
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Fate is an uncontrolled force that determines the development of our lives. Moby Dick by Herman Melville is an allegory of man’s struggle with the fate of God. The characters of Moby Dick pursue to challenge divine determinism with free will. Ishmael and Ahab threaten their unavoidable destinies and confront God, who ultimately imposes either tragedy or obedience to those who defy his fate. Their destiny is a resultant of their confrontation with God and their reactions to the imposition of fate. Ahab’s quest for revenge on God is driven by his desire to protest the injustices of fate. Ishmael believes that his decisions are already determined by fate. Both characters acknowledge the avenging and omniscient force of god, but react to their handed fate contrastingly.
Captain Ahab represents the point of view that to live a predestined life is not living. He is a conveyer of the protests against the injustices of fate. Ishmael reveals Ahab’s quest for vengeance on the whale, that represents God; “Such a crew, so officered, seemed specially picked and packed by some infernal fatality to help him to his monomaniac revenge” (Ch 4, 202) Ahab has a “monomaniac”, or an obsessive interest,   for revenge on God, and is out to kill the divine force behind fate.. He is angered by the fact that he is not in control of his own destiny. Rather than obeying God’s predetermined destiny, Ahab proclaims, “Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!” (Ch. 36, 182). Captain Ahab is tormented by the lack of control over his own fate, thus resorting to rebellion to fulfill his resent and anger driven by vengeance. Although Ahab is defiant of God, he also accepts his fate. He asserts that he has no control over his behavior; “Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run” (Ch 37, 183) Ahab challenges the men on board to divert him from killing Moby-Dick. He announces that he must continue on the “iron...

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