Captain Ahab Essay Research Paper Captain AhabCaptain

Captain Ahab Essay, Research Paper

Captain Ahab

Captain Ahab in the novel Moby Dick is quite a character. He is the Captain of the whaling ship the Pequod and is out on a voyage to kill the great white whale named Moby Dick. Throughout his journey on sea, Ahab maintains focus on one thing, and only one thing, killing Moby Dick. It comes to show throughout the story that a close-minded man is blind to his surroundings.

On a whaling mission before, Ahab’s leg was bitten off by the white whale, and ever since then, Ahab has focused only on the revenge he will get when he kills the whale. The captain’s prosthetic leg is then made out of the jawbone of Moby Dick. Ahab’s leg becomes a constant reminder of the whale, and a constant motivation for his revenge.

Some might describe that character of Ahab to be insane and at times evil. I do not believe he is insane. In a section of the movie, Ahab is seen speaking with Starbuck calmly, and actually sharing his feelings with the crewmember. These are not actions of an insane man. Ahab shows true feeling for Starbuck and his mates. I also do not believe the captain is an evil character. I do believe he became obsessed and in a way infatuated with Moby Dick. He seems to me to be a very ambitious man; there is nothing wrong with wanting and desiring to achieve a goal.

On the other hand, being ambitious, and focusing so much on one thing in life that you become blind, are two different things. Ahab is guilty of this. He lets Moby Dick run his life; he desires revenge so badly that it becomes all he thinks about, all he cares about, all of him. Ahab even becomes restless at night because of the whale. It seems to me that Ahab needs Moby Dick to survive, yet in return, Ahab wants to kill him.

A lesson is to be learned from Ahab. Keep your eyes open to those around you, and other things that are in your life. If you dwell on the negatives, and of revenge, you’re life becomes a waste. Family and friends do not want to be around you, and you will become an unhappy being. Like Ahab, we all have something that bothers us, which picks at our mind, but unlike Ahab, we have to move on with life. Be aware of your surroundings and careful not to forget about friends and family, stay open to other ideas and never dwell on one thing that bothers you. Besides, there are other fish in the sea.


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