Unrealism And Symbolism In Herman Melville's Moby Dick

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The ocean not only engulfs two‑thirds of the earth but two‑thirds of Moby Dick; a literary space penned by Herman Melville which sweeps the reader in its ever‑elusive eddies of symbolic complexity. The symbolism in the novel ceaselessly ebbs and flows like the sea, submerging the reader into Melville’s imaginative sea voyage. This paper will examine the watery depths as a recognizable setting from the physical universe, further observing how Melville juxtaposes this element in such a peculiar way, that the reader has no choice but to abandon, “reason, tradition, belief, and rely solely on thought to interpret these images,” which accordingly creates an “opportunity for open imagination” (Glover, 2003:42) (Bachelard,1983: 22). What’s more, is that Melville has the ability to paint landscapes in words, “reveal[ing] the eye of a visual artist” (Wallace, 1992: 105). Therefore, this essay will observe Melville’s imagery from a surrealist perspective, comparing Salvador Dali’s painting, “Dali at Age Six” to Chapter 58, “Brit,” and Chapter 114, “The Gilder” to emphasize the fluidity of sea as a means for open interpretation and imagination. It is noted that the “key to all” surrealism is the “spirit” which “sought to break down embedded barriers that viewers might bring to the art, and free them to rise to a higher of supra level of reality—a surreal level of understanding” (Glover, 2003: 39). Surrealism arose like a “phantom” of artistic expression in the twentieth century,

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