(Originally posted on Wix.com, on May 14, 2017)
It’s the end of the book and the end of the ultimate four-part review. I have to say, the ending was somewhat predictable, because of all the foreshadowing, but done well. At the end of the book, Captain Ahab and crew finally track down Moby Dick. They try and catch him, chasing him around for several days.
The crew starts to doubt Ahab and they request that he turn back several times (after the whale destroys several of their boats). He refuses and eventually the whale downs their boat, and only Ishmael escapes.
The ending is fantastically done and was exactly what I hoped wouldn’t happen. I thought to myself before the ending… “This doesn’t look like it’s going in the right direction. Wow, I hope the whale doesn’t kill them all.” That’s EXACTLY what happened. My reaction to the overall book was mixed, unlike most other readers. Usually, a reader will lean sharply in one direction when it comes to this book: most love it or hate it. Some dote upon Moby Dick as a Classic, and others hate it with a burning passion.
The reason it’s hated upon is due to its slow pacing and due to Herman Melville’s ability to turn words into pages. I find myself easily impatient with Melville’s writing style but I really appreciate his deep research and extensive knowledge of the subject matter. He knows a LOT about whaling. Now I do, too.
The reason Moby Dick is loved is due to its wide vocabulary and array of writing techniques. There seems to be a double meaning to everything, including the famous line “Call me Ishmael.” It is widely speculated to be a hint towards an unreliable narrator (he says ‘Call me Ishmael’ rather than ‘My name is Ishmael.’ Is that his real name? Ect.) The name ‘Ishmael’ may actually originate from the son of Abraham in the Bible, which is just one example of a Bible reference in the story.
The book was overall a wonderful story filled with realistic characters, but reading it takes a very long time and a strong dose of patience. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an academic or personal reading challenge rather than a short novel for enjoyment.
(It’s a good thing that this book is over, I’m running out of ocean pictures to put on the front.)