Ahab and. Fedallah are paired, and so are Ishmael and Queequeg, each in an Indeed, the relations are mercurial and exceed these pairings as Ishmael becomes .. lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands" him. From. Everything you ever wanted to know about Ishmael in Moby-Dick, written by So , even though the word "you" doesn't come up, Ishmael is establishing a direct relationship with you, the . He's even willing to worship Yojo, Queequeg's god. to do the will of God - that is worship. of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. All those comparisons to marriage: do they merely come across as facetious? So maybe Queequeg and Ishmael were passionate friends.
Queequeg claims that the only case of indigestion he has suffered was after a feast in which 50 slain enemies were eaten. He displays no shame regarding the practice, describing his people in a matter-of-fact fashion. In port he prefers a diet of rare red meat, but will settle for whatever is on the menu, such as clam chowder —which is described as "his favorite fishing food".
Although the son of a chief, he chose to leave his island out of curiosity to see more of the world and to experience and evaluate the civilization of the Christian world. At first rejected by the whaler that landed on his island, he skillfully jumped from a canoe and clamped to the side of the boat as it was leaving for the open sea, at which point the captain relented.
Queequeg and Ishmael first meet when Queequeg returns late to the inn where he is staying, not knowing that Ishmael has been booked into the same room with him.
Although Queequeg initially threatens to kill Ishmael, and Ishmael initially is afraid of this cannibal, but soon decides "Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. You had almost thought I had been his wife.
At the time of the novel, he has been away from his home island for many years, so long that it is possible that his father is dead and that he would become the chief if he returned.
Queequeg practices a form of animism using a small idol named Yojo, for whom he builds small ceremonial fires. There are many characters in the text which have biblical counterparts. Tishbite the prophet who denounced King Ahab, is the lunatic, the divinely inspired Shakespearean irrational man, who prophesizes that the entire crew of the Pequod will never return. This recalls the actual words of the biblical Elijah to King Ahab. Jeroboam was a king prior to Ahab, who made sacrifices to a false God, which links once more to pagan ritual and the wrath of Jehovah.
Queequeg - Wikipedia
The revengeful Hebrew God swore to destroy the dynasty of Jeroboam and had his son killed. The sequel to the Ahab tale is the Babylonian captivity of the Israelite, which as previously mentioned evokes the biblical Rachel — the ship which rescues Ishmael is the Rachel, pictured as a mother who had lost her child.
The element of the prophecy motif is one of the most important literary devices in the book. The whaling voyage itself links us to biblical areas where the whale symbol occurs. The God of Jonah was capable of sparing the entire populace of Nineveh, the city he had threatened to destroy. The Leviathan of Job however is inscrutable, the creature who would never make a pact with man, who can never be questioned and never be caught. There are a series of reference to Job and his Leviathan.
Ishmael paraphrases from Job; Job A reader of the scriptures, he argues that only the evil are punished by God while the good prosper. Ahab is the personification of this philosophy.
And where is the place of understanding? The loom image of Job is used by Melville to describe this sensation of amoral intelligence, a mighty mystery existing for its own sake. No language of this earth could describe the truth Pip saw, the horror which Ahab feels as a result of his initial contact with the white whale. It is this realization which is reborn with Ishmael. On the Day of Judgment, at the end of the world, the Messiah Himself would come down and distribute the flesh of the great fish Leviathan among the faithful.
The unveiling of the true nature of the divinity is an infringement on the world of reality by the illusionary ordered world of man.
This results in the destruction of the false absolutes man had created for himself. The apocalyptic end of the Pequod had been predicted when the Jeroboam was met at sea.
Gabriel is associated with St. Also on the Jeroboam there is a sickness, a plague — the reference to the biblical plague which when released from its vial would destroy the heathen world, those who worshipped the beast with seven heads. He has thus ignored the wisdom of Job and the divinely inspired prophecy of St. The symbol of this mysterious life, is the white whale — the mysteries of creation reflect the pulsation of divine life.
The world of the whales in the Grand Armada episode is likened to a heavenly household. The journey of the Pequod takes one through spheres of belief, through spheres of divine attributes, arriving at the celestial throne of Revelations. For Melville, the cognition of God, is related to the deepest sense of a mystical reality, an alternate sphere to the world of man, and can be visualized only in a symbolic way.
It is within itself — neither good nor evil — it is — simply and purely. This signifies the return to the original perception of man, born from deep meditation on every given mode of reality; a symbol is perceived, externalized and eventually transformed into mere book-learning. The symbols lose their tremendous import, their reality — myth fills their empty space, connecting the original perception through myth and allegory to the subsequent layers of history.
In Moby Dick, man has returned to the original perception, to creation itself. In this system, nothing exists but the symbol; the creature or thing is real in its existence yet is meaningless independent of the symbols man has made manifest in them. Ahab is attempting a meritorious deed — to reveal the mysteries, to destroy the white demon of myth is in essence good. There is a ship named the Delight. Only Ishmael, who feels this delight, who through the Cetology chapter had developed insights into the truth of the reality of the whales as physical creatures, survives the apocalyptic confrontation.
The apocalyptic chaos impinges, hangs as a threat evermore, existing in a constant mirror dimension — where our reality reflected against the truth becomes a shadow and cannot survive.
Ishmael in his internal, personal search survives — he perceives the real as well as its symbol. However, the universal quest of Ahab and the Pequod, fails. For Melville there is no final deliverance for man — not from himself, not from his worlds.
Deeper than hell, what canst thou know. With transcendental thought, or mans relationship to nature as the ultimate truth, permeating the spiritual thinking of the time, Melville came to understand that the organized religion of his community, separated man from nature rather than link him to it. Behavioral demanding religious superstructures promising eternal life thru the resurrection of God as man, took precedent over mans relationship to nature. What Melville concludes in Moby Dick, is that the religious superstructures and dogma of man, which were created to understand God, failed to comprehend the true transcendence, which was mans relationship to nature.
To Melville, there was no resurrected God who could, in reality, supplant or interfere in this ultimate natural fact, and thus the Pequod, as the symbolic container of all organized religion, is obliterated by the symbol of nature, the white whale. The theme of demonism of this natural creature as developed by Ahab and Fedallah in Moby Dick, represents the superimposition of mans fears and delusions rampant in organized religions onto a natural creature.
Such demonism of a natural creature ultimately destroys the Pequod. It is clear that Melville is warning, that if man does not respect nature and the environment, the end could be calamitous for man. It appears Melville did believe that original organized religion was meant only to be a construct of behavior, and that the Hebrews had it right initially.
But somehow along the road of time, the trappings of superstition, the mythic constructs of pagan resurrected Gods, entered the subconscious of ancient Hebrew thought.Ishmael and Queequeg: Bromance on the High Seas (A Documentary)
The resurrected God of Christianity is born from Judaism. Now man himself could be resurrected as long as his behavior was approved by an institution or church. How such a resurrected God myth permeated into Judaism is thought to have been as a result of exposure of the Hebrews to the resurrected God myths of Osiris in Egypt and Tammuz in Babylonia.
This underlying pagan mysticism eventually gave birth thru Judaism into the resurrected God of Christianity. The Hebrews long imprisonment in slavery in Egypt, and then Babylonia, had to reasonably alter their religious thought, as the enslaved Hebrews made accommodations to survive in captivity.
Intro to Critical Reading: Queequeg and the Devil
In my opinion, organized religion truly begins in history with the focus on how to take control of the self — how to achieve mastery over conflicting emotions and how to liberate reason and self-discipline.
While man may not control the events that impinge on his daily lives, how he responds to them is within his power. Difficult though it may be when faced with a challenge of faith, a human being can choose how to react. This influential Hebrew model presupposes that all men have a choice in life, either to follow the law or not follow the law.
One is the way of life, the other of death. The choices were stark, but, nonetheless, they at least represented a choice in the wake of seemingly irrational behavior by the divine powers. If God were beneficent how could terrible events occur. His first appearance in the bible is in the book of Genesis, in which he convinces Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Although the relationship between Queequeg and Ishmael is somewhat different in its nature from that of Eve and the Devil, one cannot argue that Ishmael too is seduced by Queequeg and his strange ways.
Although Queequeg never directly forces any forbidden knowledge upon Ishmael; his mere presence as a foreign pagan is apparently highly intoxicating. Not only does Ishmael watch Queequeg dress with slightly erotic fascination, they also frequently share beds with one another. Now, Queequeg becomes a close confidant, an equal, a source of enlightenment about the rest of the world and its customs.
And what is the will of God? He is of ambiguous origin, coming from an unmapped Island called Kokovoko, in the south Pacific; he prays to a little figurine and keeps his tomahawk with him at all times.
I am the LORD.