The book is sailor Ishmael 's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab , captain of the whaling ship Pequod , for revenge on Moby Dick , the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissance , the work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in Its reputation as a " Great American Novel " was established only in the 20th century, after the centennial of its author's birth. William Faulkner confessed he wished he had written the book himself,  and D.
Cliffs Notes on Melville's Moby Dick
The novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville is an epic tale of the voyage of the whaling ship the Pequod and its captain, Ahab, who relentlessly pursues the great Sperm Whale the title character during a journey around the world. The narrator of the novel is Ishmael , a sailor on the Pequod who undertakes the journey out of his affection for the sea. Although Queequeg appears dangerous, he and Ishmael must share a bed together and the narrator quickly grows fond of the somewhat uncivilized harpooner. Queequeg is actually the son of a High Chief who left New Zealand because of his desire to learn among Christians. The next day, Ishmael attends a church service and listens to a sermon by Father Mapple , a renowned preacher who delivers a sermon considering Jonah and the whale that concludes that the tale is a lesson to preacher Truth in the face of Falsehood. On a schooner to Nantucket, Ishmael and Queequeg come across a local bumpkin who mocks Queequeg.
Moby Dick Summary
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