MARY ELLEN SNODGRASS is an award-winning author of textbooks and general reference works, and a former columnist for the Charlotte Observer. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University, and holds degrees in English, Latin, psychology, and the education of gifted children.
In CliffsNotes on Moby-Dick, you follow along this great American novel; the turbulent and adventurous story of a sea captain's obsession with a white whale.
This study guide shares a story about defiance, friendship, duty, and death — all immersed in symbolism, such as the white whale, itself. You'll gain comfort with the dark and complicated plot as you move through critical commentaries on each of the novel's 135 chapters. Other features that help you figure out this important work includeLife and background of the author, Herman MelvilleAnalyses of the charactersIntroduction to the novelA review section that tests your knowledge and suggests essay topicsA selected bibliography that leads you to more great resources
Classic literature or modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
What is most distinctive about American sea fiction, Bender contends, is its visionary, often mystical, response to the biological world and to man's perceived place in the larger universe. When Melville envisioned the sea as the essential element of life, indeed as life itself, he changed the course of American sea fiction by introducing the relevance of biological thought. But his meditations on the whale and "the ungraspable phantom of life" project a different reality from that envisioned by his successors. In American sea fiction after Melville, the influence of Origin of Species is as powerful as that of Moby Dick or the theme of sailing ships being displaced by steam.
The ideal of brotherhood so central to American sea fiction was severely compromised by the biological reality of a competitive, warring nature. Twentieth-century sea fiction has continued to center on the biological world and address the possibility of democratic brotherhood, but the issues were fundamentally changed by Darwin's theories.
This book will be a valuable source for students and scholars of American literature and will interest readers of sea fiction.