Tools of Destiny
Come, Ahab's compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? Ye cannot swerve me, else ye yourselves! Man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents' beds, unerringly I rush! Naught's an obstacle, naught's an angle to the iron way! (337)
In the passage above, Ahab is daring anyone on the ship to divert him from his purpose, which is to gain vengeance on Moby Dick and ultimately end all evil. In Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Ahab needs to gain vengeance on Moby Dick for taking his leg and sees himself as the last line of defense of good against evil. Ahab endangers the lives of all his ship's crew by taking them on a journey to kill one of the most savage beasts in the ocean.
As a captain, Ahab cannot be so selfish and ignore the advice of his sailors. In addition to avenging Moby Dick, Ahab sees himself as the destroyer of evil. He feels that if he kills Moby Dick, he is destroying all evil in the world. Ahab not only goes on this journey to gain his vengeance on Moby Dick, but also to rid the world of all evil; even though his ignorance costs his crew members their lives.
Ahab's motives set him apart from others hunting the white whale. He is driven by vengeance, not so much against the beast as what the beast represents. To Ahab, the whale is an agent of an evil and tyrannical divinity. He refuses to be a victim of divine vengeance. He will not lean down...