2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Race in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick as Allegory For a Young America
Clinton P. Mohs
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor

In Herman Melvilles Moby-Dick, Ahab diverts the attention of the crew away from the profit driven goals of whaling to the individual goal of hunting the great white whale, Moby Dick. When viewed through a Marxist lens, the capitalistic norms that fuel the voyage are called into question and eventually undermined by Ahabs monomania, Fleeces sermon to the sharks, and the role of Ishmael as narrator throughout the novel. Melvilles presentation of this multiracial crew aboard the Pequod in Moby-Dick provides an allegory for the question of race in the young American nation. The final fate of the Pequod puts forth a sobering warning that the individualist capitalist norms at the helm of the nation will create a profit-driven monomania that will only end in the demise of America.

Keywords: Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Ishmael, Ahab, Marxist, America


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-4
Location: VH 1304
Time: 2:00

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