The word of Herman Melville's book is easily identified as Leviathan, which is basically a sea monster, often a whale or crocodile, derived from the bible. In fact, biblical symbolism throughout this epic occurs regularly in the form of character names, actions, prophecies and of course Moby Dick himself.
“Call me Ishmael”…is the famous first sentence of this novel – words that I first learned from the movie Matilda. This is a sentence to enlist curiosity from the reader. We never learn whether or not this is really Ishmael’s name or if we should just “call” him that. Regardless, Ishmael led me to some fairly disappointing and annoyingly long chapters about whales, their length, their facial features etc. Ishmael never comes to understand the whale, leaving it to be mysterious and mystic for the reader. This inconclusive study allows Herman Melville to allude to Moby Dick being the wrath of god. In the end, this inconclusive study makes for a dry read. Reading about people killing whales simply to get oil etc is not my idea of fun.
In lieu of this novel I have decided to post a few whale videos to help you understand why I did not enjoy reading about individuals stabbing whales.