Saturday, August 3, 2019
Comparing Religious Archetypes in Moby Dick, Billy Budd, and Bartleby t
Religious Archetypes in Moby Dick, Billy Budd, and Bartleby the ScrivenerÃ Ã Ã Ã Herman Melville's use of Biblical overtones gives extra dimensions to his works.Ã Themes in his stories parallel those in the Bible to teach about good and evil.Ã Melville emphasizes his characters' qualities by drawing allusions, and in doing so makes them appear larger than life.Ã In the same way that the Bible teaches lessons about life, Herman Melville's stories teach lessons about the light and dark sides of human nature.Ã He places his readers in situations that force them to identify with right or wrong choices.Ã In Moby Dick, Billy Budd, and "Bartleby the Scrivener," Melville encourages his readers to learn from his explanations of human nature and strive for a better society. Ã Ã Ã Ã Melville's Moby Dick is the saga of a whaling voyage gone awry when the Pequod's Captain Ahab leads his crew, not to hunt for profit, but to hunt the White Whale who took one of his legs.Ã Captain Ahab's idolatrous relationship with the White Whale, Moby Dick, parallels King Ahab's idol worship.Ã Captain Ahab represents all idolaters.Ã His obsession approaches Biblical proportions.Ã In First Kings in the Old Testament, King Ahab, who is "weak-willed" (Hertz 699), is controlled and influenced by his wife Jezebel.Ã He neglects his responsibility as King of the Israelites, and leads his people astray to the worship of Baal.Ã In doing so, he breaks the Second Commandment: "thou shalt have no other gods" (Hertz 295).Ã Similarly, Captain Ahab leads his crew away from their job as whalers.Ã As Mr. Starbuck says, "I came here to hunt whales, not my commander's vengeance"(Moby 162).Ã Led by feelings of revenge and anger, Ahab uses the crew to search for his G... ... Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã 152. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 17.Ã Detroit, 153. Michigan.: Gale Research Company, 1985. Gardner, John.Ã "'Bartleby': Art and Social Commitment," in Philological Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Quarterly, Vol.Ã XLIII, No. 1, January 1964, pp.Ã 87-88.Ã Ã Rpt. in Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 17.Ã Detroit, Michigan.: Gale Research Company, 1985. Hertz, J.H., ed.Ã Pentateuch and Haftorahs.Ã London: The Soncino Press, 1960. Melville, Herman.Ã "Bartleby the Scrivener."Ã Rpt. in Billy Budd and Other Tales.Ã New York: The New American Library, 1961. _____. Billy Budd.Ã Rpt. in Billy Budd and Other Tales.Ã New York: The New American Library, 1961. _____. Moby Dick. New York: Random House, Inc., 1950. The New English Bible.Ã "Matthew 25: 40-41."Ã Oxford: Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, 1970.