It is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne. When Moby Dick was first published, the public was unimpressed. It sold fewer than 4, copies in total, including fewer than in the United Kingdom. It was not until the midth century that the work was recognized as one of the most important novels in American literature. The whale Moby Dick has been interpreted as a metaphor for a great many things, from the Judeo-Christian God to atheism and everything in between.
Moby-Dick Character Analysis | LitCharts
The narrator, and a junior member of the crew of the Pequod. Read an in-depth analysis of Ishmael. The egomaniacal captain of the Pequod. Ahab lost his leg to Moby Dick.
Ishmael in Moby-Dick: Character Analysis & Symbolism
Ishmael The narrator of the novel is a keen observer, a young man with an open mind who is wary of Ahab but, like most of the crew, swept away by the captain's charisma. Ahab The "grand, ungodly, god-like man" is a deeply complex figure, one of the most controversial in American literature. His monomaniacal hunt for Moby Dick dominates the novel's plot. Moby Dick The giant sperm whale seems to manipulate his confrontations with mankind in a manner beyond the capacity of a leviathan. Critics debate the nature of Moby Dick: whether he is an allegorical representation of some eternal power, a representation of Ahab's obsession, or nothing more, literally, than a whale.