Style Analysis

Herman Melville



   Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick is about a young male who decides to go to sea for the first time in his life, in order for him to become a whale man. Unfortunately he encounters unfortunately a dreadful experience. In the novel Melville uses different writing styles in order  to set the tone of his novel.
Narrative Voice

     In the novel Moby Dick, Melville uses narrative voice, once Ishmael starts telling of his first life experience, then it turns into third person limited. Throughout the novel Melville didn’t share the first person and third person limited. The novel starts with a young man named Ishmael giving an overview of what occurred in his life. Once he boards the Pequod, which the boat he was going to sail on, Ishmael, narration fades. This then takes the role of the third person limited. This is because the author does not share the thoughts of all the main characters in the novel.
Literary Devices

    Herman Melville use the literary devices of symbolism, similes and, assonance to increase readers interest in the novel.

     Symbolism is used in the novel Moby Dick, for the captain Arab represents the bad while Moby Dick represents good. This is so because Arab was the one who decided to go in search of Moby Dick in order to kill him. Thus, it shows that Moby Dick was only protecting himself from a nentity that wished to kill him.   This turns ironic, for instead of Arab killing the whale, the whale ends up killing Arab and his crew members. For the only person that survives is Ishmael, who lives to tell the story of Moby Dick. There is much more symbolism used in the novel but this was the most obvious manifestation,

    Melville also uses similes in order to compare unlike objects to another thing. For when Arab first spots the whale he says, “There she blows, there she blows. A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick" (Melville 342). This clearly indicates how excited Arab was in seeing the whale which also creates imagery for  readers as they are able to understand the size and the color of the whale.

    Melville then uses assonance to help illustrate images in the readers minds. An example is when Stubb says "The devil fetch ye, ye ragamuffin rapscallion. (Melville 245).    Melville uses literacy devices to create more drama for the novel. For if it wasn't for this drama the novel, would then be considered boring, thus causing fewer readers to read the novel.

    The description used in the novel for the characters to express themselves consists of imagery. For in the novel when Ishmael is describing Quebeaq his thoughts are : "For he takes about a double handful of shavings out his rego pocket, and places them carefully before the idol: then laying a bit of ship biscuit on the top" (Melville   ) This helps  readers imagine exactly what Quebec is doing. This creates a more realistic depiction of the novel.
Use of Dialogue

    Herman Melville uses authentic dialect thoughtout the novel Moby Dick. The purpose of this is for the readers to be able to understand exactly what the characters in the novel are saying . This way  the readers are able to understand which character has said what in the novel. For when Queebeaq first encounters Ishmael he says, " Speak-e! tell-ee me who-ee be, or dam-me, I kill-e"(Moby Dick 31). Not only does this express anger, but also helps readers realize that Queebeq must be a foreign person. For it shows that he had trouble speaking the language.

    Melville's use of words indicates that his writing was sophisticated, made  designed for  older people and not for children to read. For Melville uses finer word that only a sophisticated person can understand.

                    Themes/Subject Matter
Melville is known for writing most of his novels dealing with the natural disasters of the sea. He explores themes including individuals vs. nature, God and religion and obsession vs. revenge. In Melville's first few novels, of Melville he used mainly first person point of view .

     Despite his eventual success, Melville has received much critic from highly regarded publishers. When the novel first came out, London Athenaeum described the novel as " An ill-compounded mixture of romance and matter-of-fact". In 1921, Carl Vab Doran calles Moby Dick "a pinnacle of American Romanticism". Moby Dick is now seen as a great American classic novel.









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