Still frequently assigned reading in school, " Moby-Dick " is a polarizing novel for many reasons: Its huge vocabulary, usually requiring at least a few trips to your dictionary; its obsession with 19th-century whaling life, technology, and jargon; the variety of literary techniques used by Melville; and its thematic complexity. Another reason the book intimidates, of course, is the cast of characters, which includes the dozens of crew members of the Pequod, many of whom have a role in the plot and symbolic significance. Melville actually worked on whaling ships in his youth, and his depictions of life on board the Pequod and the men who worked under Ahab have the ring of complex truth. Ishmael, the narrator of the tale, actually has very little of an active role in the story.
Who was the narrator in Moby Dick?
Moby-Dick Narrator Point of View
The book is sailor Ishmael 's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab , captain of the whaling ship Pequod , for revenge on Moby Dick , the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissance , the work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in Its reputation as a " Great American Novel " was established only in the 20th century, after the centennial of its author's birth. William Faulkner confessed he wished he had written the book himself,  and D.
Nothing, but nothing , about Moby-Dick is straightforward. Not even—maybe especially not—the point of view. And you thought the whaling chapters would be the hardest part of this book! For nearly the first forty chapters of the novel, Moby-Dick is narrated in the first person by Ishmael. In terms of point of view, then, there are four general types of chapter in the novel:.
In fact from chapter 41 on, the narrator switches to a third-person omniscient perspective. The pronouns such as "I" or "we" slowly disappear. Everyone dies, save the narrator. Ishmael the narrator and Captain Ahab.