Sandra Strange's Reviews > Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville
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If you're fascinated with 19th C whaling, you'll want to read every single word of this classic. If you aren't, I'd recommend you skip the whaling chapters. The characters are fascinating and the story ok as adventure goes, but it is all 19th C, so a bit slow in pace. As far as the symbolism goes, it's helpful to know the basics of transcendentalism to see what Melville is exploring. However, I think the old movie version starring Gregory Peck is much more coherent with more consistent symbolism. It retains the ambiguity of the whale as symbol, but the rest is much more worked out than Melville's original. Everyone who wants to be literate ought to read this novel at least once.
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