Theodicy, Eschatology, and the Biblical Sources of Moby Dick
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Northern Illinois University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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In this study I seek to examine Moby-Dick in the context of the author’s dramatization of the problem of evil, a subject of recurrent interest in western culture and Judeo-christian tradition. framing Melville’s fictional exploration of this vexed question was his immersion in the bible, especially the text of the old testament from which he drew prototypes for the ...
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...parenthetical citations of Moby-Dick are from Moby-Dick; or The Authorized king James Version. edited by rev. c. I. scofield. new ...
1—Joban Theodicy and Apocalyptic Eschatology
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...a lIttle over a century ago, in a discussion of “The sick soul” in his Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), the philosopher and psychologist william James examined a human personality type that, in contrast to what he had earlier called a proponent of the “religion of healthy-mindedness,” or a type that minimized the existence of evil in the world, instead tended ...
2—Pilgrimage and Prophecy
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...paradigms of theodicy and eschatology that offered a potential rationale for the existence of evil and human suffering that Melville explored in Moby-Dick. yet the novel also draws extensively on its immediate religious, historical, and cultural contexts. certain key features in the religious landscape of antebellum america are thus evoked in the novel, especially in ...
3—Chaos Monster and Unholy Warrior
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...repeatedly invoked in the early chapters of the novel as Ishmael goes in search of a whaling vessel (as we have seen above), the Joban theme follows a more gradual pattern of development, being hinted at the start of the novel but made fully manifest only when ahab makes his first appearance in chapter 28. Thus, while speculating at the start of the novel on his reasons ...
4—Cetology, Cosmology, Epistemology
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In the prevIous chapter, we have explored the influence of Joban theodicy and apocalyptic eschatology on the characterizations of ahab and the white whale. as an anguished victim of divine malevolence like Job, ahab has mythologized Moby dick into a modern version of the archetypal leviathan—becoming, in the process, an exemplar of both eloquent protest, ...
5—Comic and Tragic Variations
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...as we have seen, inform a number of chapters within the cetological center of Ishmael’s narrative, the modes of comedy and tragedy, similarly imbued with biblical import, also help structure a number of scenes from the same extended middle portion of the narrative. although comedy and tragedy as dramatic forms have their origins in ancient greek religious ritual, many ...
6—Hubris and Heroism, Mortality and Immortality
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...biblical themes within the middle third of Moby-Dick, the development of ahab’s excessive pride, or hubris, appears in tandem with his distinctive traits of heroic courage in the final quarter of the narrative. both Ishmael and ahab also speculate in this portion of the novel on the mysterious interrelation of life and death and on the perennial human hope for ...
7—Combat and Catastrophe
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...heroism blends with self-destructive hubris, while related questions of mortality and immortality raised by both ahab and Ishmael in the last quarter of the novel contribute to the development of important religious and philosophical ideas. we now follow the Pequod to ahab’s final disastrous confrontation with the white whale and explore its implications for the ...
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...at the start of hIs dIscussIon of “how religion in the united states avails Itself of democratic tendencies” in Democracy in America, alexis de tocqueville noted the importance of having “fixed ideas” to support one’s religious beliefs and also the challenges that the power of private judgment, as fostered by democracy, could present to a properly ...
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Selected Bibliography of Melville and Moby-Dick Studies
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Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2012