Herman Melville's classic novel,"Moby Dick".

Essay by dkshine86High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2003

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Two Roads

A man's life can be exceptionally different according to his acceptance of morals. Taking place in the 1800s, Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick, introduced this contrast through the characters Ahab and Starbuck. Ahab was the whaling ship's captain who had no morals and let his obsessions bring himself down. Conversely, Starbuck had morals which provided him with opposing strength and a more honorable downfall than Ahab. Although both men had a few similarities and were faced with the same challenges in whaling, the absence and presence of morals led the men to deal with the situation in different ways and ultimately to distinct conclusions.

Everyone starts off at a common point but takes off at different speeds and on different roads. Ahab and Starbuck were generally the same in basic aspects. First, both of the men had strong beliefs. Ahab believed Moby Dick was evil and was destined to die at his hands.

This belief was so strong that it led to obsession and destruction. Ahab himself admitted his destructive obsession when he said, "So far gone am I in the dark side of earth, that its other side, the theoretic bright one, seems but uncertain twilight to me."(p. ) In a similar fashion, Starbuck's strong belief in God led to his destruction for it prevented him from making the decision to kill Ahab and prevented him from destroying the entire crew. Second, Ahab and Starbuck both had a family. Apart from all of their whaling, their wives and sons were patiently waiting at home for their husbands' return from the voyage. Third, they both shared a common love for the sea. Although crazed, Ahab still loved the ocean that he spent much of his life in. He expressed his love for the sea several times...