Title

Herman Melville's Use of Oriental Myth, Old Testament Legend and New Testament Allusion in Moby-Dick

Publication Year

1962

Keywords

literature, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, oriental myth, Old and New Testaments, literary criticism

Disciplines

American Literature | Biblical Studies | Christianity | East Asian Languages and Societies | English Language and Literature | Religion

Abstract

"And I only am escaped alone to tell thee."--Job

Thematically, the influence of the Book of Job on Moby-Dick is so pervasive as to be second to no other single source. Mythically, the Leviathan passages in Job and the rest of the Old Testament provide the structural nexus of Moby-Dick to which all other mythical strands connect as spokes to the axle. Imagistically, the vortex-whirlwind image and the light and dark images in Job supply important comment on Melville's use of these images in Moby-Dick. It will be the purpose of this chapter to provide a full critical exegesis of Jobian theme, myth, and image in Moby-Dick, using a close textual analysis to investigate the interrelations which cohere all three elements.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing

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