Herman Melville's Juxtapositions

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The title, White Jacket – or, the World on a Man-of-War, is important to understanding Herman Melville’s purpose because he uses many juxtapositions and allegories in the writing in order to get his point across. The novel, White Jacket-or, the World on a Man-of-War, was not about being in the Navy, it is about the inner workings of Melville’s brain. He writes to show how he is suffering from depression. How his journey through life became harder and harder for him. The sea represents the outside world and the people in it, the ship represents the brain and the crew represents the different components of the brain. The White Jacket part of the title is the happiness and the purity in the brain. The World on a Man-of-War part of the title is…show more content…
Melville asks for help from other people but they do not give it to him. He tries to show himself by changing the color of the “jacket” from white to black so that people would not see him as a “ghost”. “When a dab of paint would make a man of a ghost, and it Mackintosh of herring-net—to refuse it I am full” (Melville 58). Melville wants people to see that he is struggling and he wants help. Mackintosh is a waterproof rain coat. “Sir, every rain gives me a soaking; Cape Horn is at hand—six brushes-full would make it waterproof; and no longer would I be in peril of my life”(Melville 58). The rain is the sorrows that Melville is full of, he is asking for the man to be a confidant and help him. That is why he asks him to make his jacket waterproof before he gets to “Cape Horn”. As explained in the previous paragraph, Cape Horn is the struggles or depression of Melville. He knows that his emotions are going to get worse if he does not get help from someone. He also says the word peril, which means serious danger. He is trying to explain to the person that if his emotions get the best with him, he would not be able to handle

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