Moby Dick Research Paper

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Herman Melville was one the greatest American authors. He was born on August 1, 1819 in New York City. In 1826, Melville had a battle with scarlet fever, which permanently weakened his eyesight. His father died when Melville was only twelve years old. He went to Albany Classical school in 1835. He worked as a clerk, teacher and farmhand from the age of twelve because his father was not there to provide for the family. Melville started work as a cabin boy on the whaler Acushnet. He also later joined the U.S. Navy. Melville’s life on the sea affected his writing very much. He wrote Typee, Omoo, and Mardi and a Voyage Thither which are based on his life at sea. His most famous novel Moby-Dick (1851), the sales of which were disappointing, is also based on a captain’s terrible experiences at sea. Shortly after, he wrote Pierre, another critical flop in his career. Melville married Elizabeth Shaw in 1847 and they had four children. Two of his sons died prior to his death in 1891 (Bamber Gascoigne). …show more content…

People who read Typee and Omoo were not expecting this kind of story from him and only some critics noticed its brilliance. In this story, Melville meditated on questions about faith and God’s intelligence. Melville partially based this story on an article by Jeremiah N. Reynolds called ‘Mocha Dick: Or, the White Whale of the Pacific’ about an albino sperm whale who sunk ships and drowned men (Bamber Gascoigne). This novel was also based on the life of Captain George Pollard Jr. on the Essex. Pollard had survived ninety-two days on the leaking Essex with no food, his crew going mad, and eventual cannibalism. While at sea, Pollard had eaten his cousin, Owen Coffin; Coffin’s mother could no longer stand being in his presence (Gilbert

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