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Moby Dick > Moby Dick - Allusions and References

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message 1: by Dianne (last edited Dec 30, 2017 08:46AM) (new)

Dianne | 9 comments Please feel free to add to this thread with anything you spot and can share!

Here a web resource of allusions that you can scroll through as you read through the chapters:

message 2: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 9 comments Theories on origin of name Moby Dick:

message 3: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 9 comments Attached is a link to the original report by John Mason describing the Puritans' attack on American Indian tribe, the Pequots, in 1636.

The whaling ship, Pequod, is named after the Pequot tribe.

message 5: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 9 comments Biblical Allusions

Ishmael--This Biblical name is in the first sentence of the novel, and Ishmael, the main character, tells his story in first person. "Ishmael" means "God will hear." The Biblical Ishmael was the son of Abraham, sent into exile with his mother. After several years in exile, an angel appeared before his mother, telling her to return to Abraham.

Ahab--a king of Israel who acted contrary to God's laws and suffered the consequences. See more detail under "Elijah," below.

Elijah--a great prophet. His part in Moby Dick relates to Ahab. Ahab provoked the anger of the Lord. His wife, Jezebel, who was a worshiper of Baal, persuaded him to build an altar to the false god.

Elijah, a prophet of the Lord, was sent to Ahab and proposed a test. Two altars were built; one to Jehovah and one to Baal. The priests of Baal called upon their god to send down fire; but there was no answer. Then Elijah called upon the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and fire came down and burnt up the offering.

The people turned upon the priests of Baal and killed them all. Later, the wicked queen, Jezebel, coveted a vineyard for Ahab, and she caused Naboth, the owner of the vineyard, to be placed in front of a battle. When he was slain, Ahab took the vineyard.

Once more Elijah came and denounced Ahab and Jezebel, telling them that they had done wickedly, and that the Lord would punish them.
In a little while the prophet's words came true, for Ahab was slain in battle and Jezebel was put to death by order of King Jehu. Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire.

message 6: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 81 comments I will put this in Allusions and References. Earlier this year, I got into a little discussion of how Moby Dick became an American classic by way of British admirers, and one key text I remember looking up is Augustine Birrell's review of the Oxford World Classics edition, c. 1920:

(hope that link works. Otherwise try googling The Immortal White Whale Augustine Birrell)

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