Topic :- Comparative study between ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ and ‘Moby dick’
Name :- Upadhyay Devangana s.
Name :- Upadhyay Devangana s.
Subject :- The American Literature
Roll no :- 05
Submitted to :- MKB University
Guide by :- Heenaba Zala
· Comparative study between ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ and ‘Moby Dick’
v Herman Melville
Herman Melville, the author of ‘Moby Dick’, is recognized today as one of America’s greatest writers, although there was a time when critics as well as readers rejected his writings. He wrote more than ten major novels, based on experiences that he had gone through himself. Some of his adventures in real life were more exciting than the ones he describes in his novels, but none was as strange and thrilling as the story he tells in ‘Moby dock’.
Melville was born in 1819 in New York City. His parents like many other Americans, were of mixed nationality, being partly English and partly Dutch. The Melville family was a well known one, but had become poor at the age of fifteen in order to various jobs: farming, teaching at schools, working in offices- in fact any work that he could find. Finally, in 1839, he went to sea as a common sailor. His first voyage took him to the port of Liverpool, in England. He found life at sea so attractive that he decided to remain in this profession.
In December 1840, Melville joined the crew of a whaling-ship, the Acushnet, and went on a long voyage to the pacific. After sixteen months on board, he and a shipmate ran away from the ship when it stopped at Nukhera, an island in the group of islands in the pacifies known as the Marquesas. They spent several weeks on this island, where they were in danger of being killed and eaten by cannibal tribes, before returning to America on another ship. Melville described these adventures in tow of his novels which become instant hits-typee and Omoo.
Between 1840 and 1843. Melville worked on two other whaling ships the Lucy Ann and the Charles and Henry. His experiences on these ships were used by him in writing ‘Moby Dick’.
He gave up his sea-doing life in 1844 and devoted himself completely to writing. In 1850, he met the great American writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who encouraged him to write ‘Moby dick’ and to whom this novel was dedicated.
‘Moby dick’ is a book with several lyres of meaning and read at different levels. At one level it is an exciting tale of adventure. There are many other well known stories of adventures at sea, but what makes; Moby Dick’ special is the fact that it provide a rare glimpse into a particular kind of life-life on a whaling-ship, or whaler, which Melville knew at first hand.
This is the story of Captain Ahab, the captain of a whaling-ship, the Piqued, and his unending battle against a white whale, to which sailors had given the name ‘Moby Dick’. Because of its unusual colour and its great size, Moby Dick had become a valued prize for all whale-hunters. But in the case of Captain Ahab, there was a desire for revenge as well. In an earlier meeting with ‘Moby Dick’, Ahab had lost one of his legs, which were bitter off by the whale. Thereafter, he had only one goal in life-to kill the white whale. After mother at last; the battle is resumed.
The story is narrated by a sailor called Ishmael, who becomes a witness to the battle between Ahab and Moby Dick.
v Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. We can find strong influence of 20th century fiction on Hemingway’s works. He won the Novel Prize in literature in1954. He published seven novels, six short story collection, and two non-fiction works. Many of his works are literature.
In 1948, furious at the critical reception of Across the River and into the Trees, he wrote the draft of ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ in eight weeks, saying that it was;
“The best I can write ever for all of my life.”
‘the Old Man and The Sea’ become a book-of-the-month selection made Hemingway an international celebrity and won the Pulitzer prize in may 1952 a month before he left for his second trip to Africa.
‘The Old man and the sea’ is a story about old man how wants to prove himself. He wants to show his ability to young fisherman. He is also success to prove him. On the eighty-fifth day of his unlucky streak, Santiago does as promised sailing his skiff far beyond the island’s shallow coastal waters and venturing into the Gulf Stream. He prepares his lines and drops them. At noon a big fish which he knows is a marlin, takes the bait that Santiago has placed one hundred fathoms deep in the waters. The old man expertly hooks the fish, but he cannot pull it in. instead, the fish begins to pull the boat.
But he gets success to prove himself and he was able to kill fish.
Beginning of the both novels ‘The Old man and The Sea’ and ‘Moby Dick’ are different. In ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ is third person narrator and novel began with old man’s descriptions while in ‘Moby Dick’ Ishmael is the narrator and story began with his life. At the beginning of the novel he introduces us to himself. As we know that name is our identity. We generally known by our name. But in ‘Moby Dick’ narrator hide his identity from us.
Ishmael is not his real mane at the beginning of the novel he told us that;
“Call me Ishmael”
“That is not my real name, but what name could be better?”
Ishmael was the name of a man who driven out of his home and forced to wander through the desert for many, many years. He found no peace or rest in life. His story is told on the Bible.
Ishmael is name adopted from Bible. Here we can find that he wants to hide his identity from us. In ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ also we don’t know about narrator or in ‘Moby Dick’ also we don’t know about narrator that what is his real name and what is his real identity? Whatever information that he gives us about know. So we can find similarity here that in both novel narrators is unknown.
Ahab and old man they are central character in both novels. Ahab is a young man. He is a captain of a whaling-ship. He is a captain of personality to kills any fish. Old man is a aged person and very week also. They both want to kill specific fish. Ahab wants to kill Moby Dick and old man wants to kill shark.
At the end of the novels both are die. But one is dying after completed his goal and one cannot. At the end of the novel “The Old Man and the Sea’ old man is able to complete his vision to kill the shark. But he cannot able to complete his vision to kill the Moby Dick.
What is reason behind it? Moby Dick and shark are symbols of nature. Old man is very deep love in nature, while Ahab heat nature. If we compared both the novels we can say that we all are part of the nature. We cannot accept our self from the nature, if nature he or she cannot able to live life or nature swallow them. Our existences destroyed somewhere.
“Fish he said ‘I love you and respect you very much.
But I will kill you dead before this day ends.”
- Old Man
This dialogue is representing love of old man’s toward nature. We can find how smoothly and beautifully he is deal with fish and nature. He wants to kill fish not for hatred or any other matter of revenge. But whatever he done it is only to prove himself and get money.
“Please do not refuse Captain Ahab”
The other man begged.”My only son is in that boat. Please help me find him.”
“I am sorry “Ahab replied roughly
“But I have no time. I must sail on.”
“Captain Ahab I shall not leave your ship till you say yes’ to me.
Surely you yourself have a son at home. You know
A father’s heart! How can you refuse? Please help me;
Please help me; or if my terns will not melt your heart, tell me
How much I must pay for your help! I am willing to pay your price.”
“Captain”, he said slowly, “there is not enough money in this world to buy
Ahab. I too, am searching for something and to me it is far
More important than your son or any other man. I cannot help you.
May God excuse me if I am doing wrong! Now please go.”
In this dialogue Ahab was taking with another ship’s Captain. He is in trouble his ship was broken. He needs help from Ahab. But Ahab not ready to help him because, he is become a blind into take revenge with Moby Dick. Ahab forget everything in revenge, he does not career for any things. He has responsibility of every sailor from the ship but he forgets his responsibility and any think about his personal revenge.
“I can always come in one the glow from Havana.
There are two more hours before the sun sets and
May be he doesn’t may be he will come up with the sunrise.
I have no cramps and I feel strong. It is that has the hook in his mouth.”
In this dialogue we can find hope of the old man. His hope is to much powerful. So many days passes than even he live with hope that when next day will come his lucks also work and he is able to kill fish. And we can find at the end of the novel that he is become success in his vision. Human should live with the hope and it will work.
“Do I look old Starbuck? I feel old I feel faint,
Bowed and humped as if I were Adam carrying the centuries on his shoulders.
Come, stand close to me. I see my wife and child in your eyes.
No you shall stay on board when we chase Moby Dick.”
“Let us go back Captain, “he begged
“Let us go home. Let me change the ship’s course.”
In this dialogue we can see well power of Ahab. After long waiting he is loss his confidence and passion. He is telling to his friend Starbuck that “Do I look OLD.” He is thinking that old is a symbol of weakness. Old man cannot do work hard. Here we can find mentality of both the characters that he has an ability to do something extraordinary. And one is very young person than even he think that old man cannot do work hard and still he is not able to catch Moby Dick So he doubted on his own self.
If we compare both novels we can see that one is represented evilness of human being and one is showing wail power of human. If man thinks to do something so any costs he is able to do that if not go against the nature if he I trying to go against nature, nature well kill human being. We can also say that age Is not limitation for doing something sailors are killed and Ahab himself not able to save his life. But the even his goals not fulfill. Old man also die at the end but he is completed his goal.