« Moby Dick or The Whale » is a novel written by Herman Melville, an american writer, and published in 1851. The title refers to the nickname given to a huge white whale at the center of the story. The novel was first published in London in October as « The Whale », but this edition was incomplete and the title was not the one desired by Melville, who has also been a sailor (hence the subject of his novel and the fact that many passages are devoted to describing the technique of whaling). Soon after, the book became known as « Moby-Dick or The Whale ». Moby-Dick is now considered one of the most important novel in English literature.
Moby Dick can be considered an escape and adventure story because, attracted by the sea, Ishmael, the narrator decides to go to whaling. Indeed, the story takes place in the 1840s. With the economic potential of this highly valued resource, people decide to go hunt whales at sea. We find in the whaling taste of conquest and of exploration. Ishmael embarks on the Pequod, whaling ship, commanded by the captain Achab. Ishmael realizes that the ship’s crew doesn’t hunt only to supply the market of the whale. Achad seeks Moby Dick, a white whale particularly fierce and with an impressive size, not just for the fame he could draw, but because he wants revenge for the animal, which snatched him a leg in the past. The Pequod will sink into the sea and the survivor will be Ishmael. Melville explores many complex topics, when Ishmael asked about his beliefs and his place in the universe, through his journey. One can draw moral of this story because captain’quest for revenge will lead him to death. Moreover, even though at the time, the issue of the preservation of species doesn’t arise, Melville already raises the question of the consequences of intensive hunting of cetaceans.
In 2015 is planned an adaptation of the story in a movie called « In The Heart Of The Sea », with the actor Chris Hemsworth.