[KB] [Fwd: Re: KB on Melville]

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Thu Feb 7 12:47:36 EST 2008


I intended this for the list.

Carrol

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [KB] KB on Melville
Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2008 09:51:44 -0600
From: Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
To: Edappel8 at cs.com
References: <c59.252ade64.34dbdc94 at cs.com>



Edappel8 at cs.com wrote:
> 
> In Response to Leslie:
> 
>        You state well the main scapegoating theme in Melville's novel,
> I do believe: the [W]hale as representative of and potential
> sacrificial vessel for all the woes and calamities of human life.

That is how _Ahab_ sees it: it is symbolic _for him_! For the _reader_
it (not he) is just a whale -- or, since everything in a text is a
symbolf of some sort, for the reader Moby Dick symbolizes the trivial,
the distraction, on which one focuses only at the expense of living.
That is one of the results of the tale  being told by a character rather
than by an omniscient  narrator -- nothing in the novel directly
confronts the reader but, rather, everything is filtered through the
consciousness (or, better, memory) of Ishmael. We have a direct relation
with him, established by the direct address (imperative) of the opening
sentence.

Carrol




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