Moby Dick.Innocent Or Evil?Innocent Side Essay, Research Paper
Innocent or Evil?
By Kevin Cook
Can the lust for revenge, wealth, or power be so strong in a person that they become so enthralled by this lust that they become a madman? This question could not be more fully answered, nor better demonstrated by the behavior of the captain of the whaling ship, ?The Peqoud?, in Herman Melville?s book, Moby Dick. Captain Ahab becomes so obsessed with killing the whale, Moby Dick, that he becomes utterly insane with tracking it down. The baneful mind, and rancorous nature, of Ahab explicates the guilelessness of Moby Dick.
It all started for Ahab when, on a whale hunting voyage, his leg was bitten off by Moby. This raw animal instinct, of Moby Dick, caused Ahab to become obsessed with killing Moby, even though the whale was not attacking, but being attacked.
Ahab?s lunacy is shown throughout the story. Starbuck and Ahab are looking at a map that shows all the whale?s paths, feeding, and breeding grounds, and tells when, and what kind of whales will be there. This map could lead them to thousands of whales, but Ahab puts this gigantic opportunity aside saying, ?No, we are hunting for Moby Dick?. This map could make every person on the boat rich, they would not have to work another day in their lives. But Ahab is so obsessed with killing Moby he turns it all down. Additional substantiation is that at least three times throughout the story, when Ahab gets a clue as to where Moby is, the first question he asks is ?Did you kill him??. This demonstrates his madness in that it would not be good enough if Moby is dead, unless Ahab kills him himself. Further confirmation of Moby?s innocence, and Ahab?s diablerie, is found when Ahab leaves a hunt of what is said to be over two hundred whales, because he gets a tip about the whereabouts of Moby Dick. Ahab is so vengeful he avers that he would ?strike the sun? if it wronged him. When the men finally find Moby, Ahab literally ties himself to the whale and stabs his harpoon in and out of the whales flesh.
One of the very few arguments opposing the ingenuousness of Moby is the fact that, after being stabbed by Ahab, he destroys ?The Peqoud? seemingly making sure to kill everyone on it. This, however, is hardly an argument against Moby because it is a pure animal instinct, and it was well provoked. The book Moby Dick is intended to be a very real story, and the only truly, ?evil? animals exist in fiction (take for example Disney Movies).
The great white whale, Moby Dick, in Melville?s book Moby Dick, exemplifies the twisting of facts, and the bias of man against animals. Moby Dick was only hunted by Ahab because of Ahab?s evil, not Moby?s. Moby Dick displayed no proof of his evil, and in fact displayed proof of his innocence.