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Moby Dick - Themes 
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Post Moby Dick - Themes
http://www.shmoop.com/moby-dick/ is an excellent reference site on Moby Dick

The following thematic summaries are expanded at http://www.shmoop.com/moby-dick/themes.html

Moby-Dick Themes - Little Words, Big Ideas

Revenge: Moby-Dick is, fundamentally, a revenge tragedy. It’s about one man’s maniacal obsession with vengeance. It’s about finding an object on which to pin all your anger and fear and ra...

Man and the Natural World: Moby-Dick explores the variety of relationships that are possible between man and Nature. Most famously, of course, there’s the issue of one man trying to take revenge on Nature for the harm...

Religion: Moby-Dick is far ahead of its time with respect to it's views on religion. The novel shows equal respect for a wide variety of religious traditions and, at the same time, not-so-gently mocks the fo...

Race: The first thing the reader notices about race in Moby-Dick is the diversity of the cast of characters, which includes among its principals a South Sea Islander, a Native American, and an African tr...

Sexuality and Sexual Identity: In Moby-Dick sexuality is expressed in the social and homoerotic bonds between men. Frequently, it’s difficult to say where exactly the line between friendship and romance is drawn. There are...

Literature and Writing: Moby-Dick is a novel that never lets you forget that you’re reading a novel or that the story you’re hearing has been filtered through the perspective of a first-person narrator. Full o...

Fate and Free Will: Some novels might be subtle about issues of fate vs. chance, but Moby-Dick thrusts questions of free will vs. determinism right into the reader’s face, starting in the very first chapter. At...

Madness: Insanity, in Moby-Dick, means having a single-minded obsession over one thing or being completely possessed by one overpowering desire. Functioning highly while being completely mad is certainly an...


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