How Does Moby Dick Relate To Religion

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It is generally accepted that Herman Melville, was influenced by the Calvinistic tradition of New England. Melville presented many pagan aspects in his sixth novel Moby Dick, and even made one of the characters confess that "it's a wicked world in all meridians; I'll die a pagan". Furthermore, in his letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, he wrote that he had written "a wicked book.”. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is a novel rich in symbolism, namely that from a religious stance, during the mid and late nineteenth century it is evident that Melville had a lack of God or religion in his life. A frequent motif in Melville’s works is that of having faith and the will to believe. The significance of Religion is seen majorly from the symbolism in Moby Dick,…show more content…
But rather than doing it in the name of God, it is done in the name of the Devil. Not only has Ahab been pictured by Ishmael in a Satanic image, Moby Dick has been repeatedly portrayed as God to present the conflict between good and evil. Father Mapple refers to the whale as God when he says, "As we have seen, God came upon him in the whale, and swallowed him down to living gulfs of doom ..."…show more content…
Melville uses words from the biblical Book of Job as a means of describing Ishmael, this shows distinct reference to the Bible. With religion being of significant importance in Moby Dick ,Melville shows different aspects of religion and its effects, strong faith can mean both isolation and alienation to multiple characters, expressing his views on religion. The significance of religion thus become increasingly clear as we progress through the novel, Captain Ahab baptizing the harpoon, which had been forged for him to kill Moby Dick and again when Father Mapple climbing the simple upward toward heaven, in order to escape the land of the sinners and to communicate God's word. Although it could be dangerous to identify Melville with the likes of his characters, particularly Ishmael and Ahab, parallelism proves inevitable with the attitude of Ishmael and Ahab toward pagans and pagan gods seems to be also Melville's. In this sense Moby Dick is a mouthpiece of its author as with many other novels. There are indeed many other pagan aspects in Moby Dick Melville presents various pagan characters and pagan gods. Though a good Christian, Ishmael shows special sympathy with Queequeg, the friendship thus formed suggests that Ishmael's

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