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[Feature] [Book Review] Moby Dick

by Eco Generation | 05-03-2014 10:55 Comments 10 recommendations 0

Moby Dick cover
Title: "Moby Dick" 
Author: Herman Melville

Moby Dick by Herman Melville, 1851 to consider a book as ecological we should first define the term 'ecological'.
 As Ecological, is considered something that negotiates positively and protectively the aspects of nature and is characterized by the interactions between the living organisms.
 As a result, a book can be described ecological only if its content reveals something about the interactions between life beings, or the nature itself.

 The book 'Moby Dick' therefore, could be considered as ecological because this is exactly its subject, though it is book written more than 150 years ago, before the idea of ecology was developed.

 The book 'Moby Dick' by Herman Melville, written in the 1851 and one of the best known American books, talks about a young man, Ishmael, who decides to make his way to a whaling ship, along with his new friend Queequeg. As they start their whale hunting trip, they soon understand that the captain Ahab's intentions are not to catch the whales for their oil, but to find and exterminate this hated creature, Moby Dick.
 Moby Dick, following the myth, is the strongest, smartest and the most dangerous whale in the entire sea, and it has taken Ahab's leg out, which has been replaced with a new one, made of whale bones.
 When Starbuck, one of the three mates of the ship, understands Ahab's intentions, he argues that the goal of the trip is to bring riches to the crew and the shareholders of the ship and tries to convince him that it is too risky to fight with a whale as powerful as Moby Dick.
 All his efforts are proved to be unsuccessful, as captain Ahab is determined to take revenge from Moby Dick. At the end of the book, Moby Dick manages to turn over the ship, and eventually kill everyone on it, apart from Ishmael who is the narrator of the story.

 In the beginning, the book describes the contact between Ishmael and Queequeg, an aboriginal king, all covered in paintings and tattoos. Both the moment when Ishmael meets him and when he asks to join the crew of the ship, he is rejected, as he is firstly considered as cannibal and secondly as someone who is inept.
 However, when he shows his behavior and his character to Ishmael and when he shows his abilities to the captain, they are able to understand his high value. This shows the stereotypes and the skepticalness on which people face the different.

 In this book, also, we can see the relationship of distinct people with the nature, and also nature's relationship with them. The crew of the ship consists of very different people and as a result, we can consider it to be a 'whole universe'.
 Also, the whales can be considered to be the nature around people.
 Most of the people in the crew, as Starbuck, try to take advantage of the nature and use it to their own good.
 However, they are able to understand their limits and know when to stop. In this case, they try to catch whales in order to collect their oil and make a profit. Starbuck, for instance, disagrees with Ahab's ambition to fight against Moby Dick as he knows that it is something beyond their capabilities.
 On the other hand some people, like Captain Ahab, perceive the nature as something that that they are antagonized to, or something that they have to conquer, a fight where the options are win or lose.
 As a result, they treat it with passion and hostility.
 In this case, Ahab is so passionate to kill Moby Dick that he is even prepared to risk his life and the lives of the people he has the duty to protect as captain of the ship. 
He also faces Moby Dick as an enemy and doesn't try to understand its behavior. Queequeg travels with that ship because he is used to live into nature, he can recognize its beauty and fights for the whale's oil as part of his everyday life.
 As we can see in the book, Queequeg doesn't have any major ambitions, but he enjoys the nature for what it is. 
Finally, Ishmael understands the nature as something that can offer him great adventures. Therefore, the reason he travels is to escape from his boring and uninteresting life.
 On the other hand, the nature behaves differently. Nature's only purpose is to survive. We can assume that because the whales run back to the flock, when they feel they are being chased.
 Additionally, Moby Dick, who is often regarded as the definition of evil, is only trying to defend himself, and protect the other whales, rather than fight people. 
Therefore, it is the resistance of the nature to people that over-exploit it, or in better words the factor that keeps the balance between the people and the nature. 
Moby Dick attacks the ships from the bottom, showing that this is its only outlet. Starbuck apprehends that, as right before Ahab jumps from the ship to fight with Moby Dick, he tells him,: 'Moby Dick seeks thee not. It is thou, thou, that madly seekest him'. This fight ends with the loss of most of the protagonists of the story. This is a sad aspect of life. I am sure that this book can teach us a lot. 

Recommended by Konstantinos- Eirinaios Tsiampouris from Greece


  • says :
    A classic. I loved reading it
    Posted 02-09-2016 07:00

  • says :
    nice review

    Posted 21-01-2016 18:23

  • says :
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing =)
    Posted 22-11-2015 18:23

  • says :
    Nice book
    Posted 25-10-2015 19:30

  • says :
    wow, nice book
    Posted 22-10-2015 20:34

  • says :
    it seam's very interesting book

    Posted 08-03-2015 21:59

  • says :
    Is there any e-book version?
    Posted 25-11-2014 19:19

  • says :
    NICE review!
    Posted 25-11-2014 19:19

  • says :

    cool and interesting book)
    Posted 20-11-2014 22:30

  • says :
    Thank you for a good recommendation.
    Posted 09-07-2014 12:12

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