How Readers Come to what They Know in Moby Dick

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

In Herman Melville’s 118th chapter of his novel Moby Dick, called The Quadrant, during the second paragraph he makes it quite easy to for readers to comprehend that in Japan, it is very hot during the summer. However, he doesn’t come right out and say this. He provides strong, literary descriptions, of the Japanese sun, that makes it clear why readers are able to conclude of what he is trying to get at. “Now, sometimes, in that Japanese sea, the days in summer are a freshet of effulgences. That unblinkingly vivid Japanese sun seems the blazing focus of the glassy ocean’s immeasurable burning-glass. The sky looks lacquered; clouds there are none; the horizon floats; and this nakedness of unrelieved radiance is as the insufferable splendors of God’s throne” (Melville 543).

In this quote, Melville describes the sun as shining brightly, “blazing,” he explains how there isn’t a single cloud in the sky, and he says this heat isn’t subject to change. It is indisputable that a bright sun produces more heat, that “blazing,” refers to something that has an extremely warm temperature, and there being no clouds in the sky is an indicator that there isn’t going to be any rain percipiation that will result in the temperatures decreasing.

At the very end of this chapter, Melville once again doesn’t come right out and say what it is that he is trying to tell readers, but Melville makes the information he wants the audience members to soak in quite clear. He successfully manages to let readers know Ahab is done watching the sun for that day, by having Ahab describe in very clear terms that the sun has set. “I have sat before the dense coal fire and watched it all aglow, full of its tormented flaming life; and I have seen it wane at last, down, down, to dumbest dust” (Melville 545). It is not hard to tell that by “dense coal fire” Ahab means “sun,” because before he brings this up, Ishamel discusses how Ahab has been looking at the sun all day long.

Also, anyone reading Moby Dick should know that the sun is able to produce light because it is on fire, and that the sun is a very large planet which needs lots of fire as a fuel source so it can function correctly. This makes it obvious to why Melville chooses to describe the sun as a “dense coal fire.” The last sentence in the quote is a clear indicator that the sun is no longer shining, because Ahab is saying he is now staring at “dust,” which means the sun has been covered up by something. To finish things off, through his description of a sun and the heat that it produces, Melville provides a tremdendous amount valuable information, that readers should be capable of making insights with.

Cite this paper

How Readers Come to what They Know in Moby Dick. (2021, Oct 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/how-readers-come-to-what-they-know-in-moby-dick/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out