Moby Dick (1819 — 1891) is a long sea novel published in 1851 by Herman Melville, an American novelist in the 19th century. The novel describes the story of Captain Ahab’s pursuit and killing of Moby Dick, a white sperm whale, and his final death together with the white whale. The story creates an atmosphere in which people are exposed to various dangers and even death at any time. It is the representative work of the author. The movie Moby Dick released on June 27, 1956 is based on the novel.
Ahab, captain of the Peron, who, in the course of a whale hunt, was bitten off a leg by the fierce and clever Moby Dick, the white whale, was so intent on revenge that he lost his reason and became a dictating paranoiac. He sailed almost all over the world until he met Moby Dick. After three days of pursuing, he struck the white whale with a harpoon, but the ship was wrecked by the white whale, and Ahab, entangled by the harpoon’s rope, fell into the sea. The whole crew went overboard, and only Ishmael the sailor was saved.
In 1839, Melville began his life at sea, working as a steward on a ship bound for Liverpool, England. Two years later, he worked as a sailor on a whaler, hunting whales in the South Pacific. About a year and a half later, he fled the boat with a good friend and later boarded a whaling ship from Sydney. Unfortunately, he got aught up in the ship’s rebellion and was imprisoned in a makeshift prison. Melville managed to escape and lived in Calabria for months before taking a boat to Honolulu. Soon he became a sailor and cruised the Pacific until he returned to Boston in 1844. Melville’s voyages and adventures became the main material for his early works.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.