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The American ClassicsA Personal Essay$
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Denis Donoghue

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300107814

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300107814.001.0001

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(p.55) 2 Moby-Dick
The American Classics

Denis Donoghue

Yale University Press

This chapter offers a reading of Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick. It highlights the repetition of Melville's move from literal lines to figurative and from a visible to an invisible pencil in extreme terms in this novel. It discusses an interpretation of the novel as a conflict not essentially between Ahab and the white whale, but between Ahab and Ishmael, with Ahab representing totalitarianism and Ishmael representing a type of American democracy.

Keywords:   Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Ahab, conflict, white whale, Ishmael, totalitarianism, American democracy

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