Melville's Moby-Dick

ISBN-10: 0764586645
ISBN-13: 9780764586644
Edition: 2001
List price: $9.99 Buy it from $1.97
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Description: The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. In CliffsNotes on Moby-Dick, you follow along this great American novel; the turbulent and adventurous  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.99
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/6/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. 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 include Life and background of the author, Herman Melville Analyses of the characters Introduction to the novel A review section that tests your knowledge and suggests essay topics A 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.

Melville was born into a seemingly secure, prosperous world, a descendant of prominent Dutch and English families long established in New York State. That security vanished when first, the family business failed, and then, two years later, in young Melville's thirteenth year, his father died. Without enough money to gain the formal education that professions required, Melville was thrown on his own resources and in 1841 sailed off on a whaling ship bound for the South Seas. His experiences at sea during the next four years were to form in part the basis of his best fiction. Melville's first two books, Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847), were partly romance and partly autobiographical travel books set in the South Seas. Both were popular successes, particularly Typee, which included a stay among cannibals and a romance with a South Sea maiden. During the next several years, Melville published three more romances that drew upon his experiences at sea: Redburn (1849) and White-Jacket (1850), both fairly realistic accounts of the sailor's life and depicting the loss of innocence of central characters; and Mardi (1849), which, like the other two books, began as a romance of adventure but turned into an allegorical critique of contemporary American civilization. Moby Dick (1851) also began as an adventure story, based on Melville's experiences aboard the whaling ship. However, in the writing of it inspired in part by conversations with his friend and neighbor Hawthorne and partly by his own irrepressible imagination and reading of Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists Melville turned the book into something so strange that, when it appeared in print, many of his readers and critics were dumbfounded, even outraged. Their misgivings were in no way resolved by the publication in 1852 of his next novel, Pierre; or, the Ambiguities Pierre; or, the Ambiguities, a deeply personal, desperately pessimistic work that tells of the moral ruination of an innocent young man. By the mid-1850s, Melville's literary reputation was all but destroyed, and he was obliged to live the rest of his life taking whatever jobs he could find and borrowing money from relatives, who fortunately were always in a position to help him. He continued to write, however, and published some marvelous short fiction pieces Benito Cereno" (1855) and "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (1853) are the best. He also published several volumes of poetry, the most important of which was Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), poems of occasionally great power that were written in response to the moral challenge of the Civil War. His posthumously published work, Billy Budd (1924), on which he worked up until the time of his death, is Melville's last significant literary work, a brilliant short novel that movingly describes a young sailor's imprisonment and death. Melville's reputation, however, rests most solidly on his great epic romance, Moby Dick. It is a difficult as well as a brilliant book, and many critics have offered interpretations of its complicated ambiguous symbolism. Darrel Abel briefly summed up Moby Dick as "the story of an attempt to search the unsearchable ways of God," although the book has historical, political, and moral implications as well.

Life and Background of the Author
Introduction to the Novel
Critical Commentaries
Chapters 1-2
Chapter 3
Chapters 4-7
Chapters 8-9
Chapters 10-12
Chapters 13-15
Chapter 16
Chapters 17-20
Chapters 21-23
Chapters 24-25
Chapters 26-27
Chapter 28
Chapters 29-31
Chapters 32-35
Chapter 36
Chapters 37-40
Chapters 41-42
Chapters 43-45
Chapters 46-49
Chapters 50-51
Chapters 52-54
Chapters 55-60
Chapters 61-66
Chapters 67-70
Chapter 71
Chapters 72-73
Chapters 74-80
Chapter 81
Chapters 82-86
Chapters 87-90
Chapters 91-92
Chapter 93
Chapters 94-98
Chapters 99-100
Chapters 101-105
Chapters 106-108
Chapter 109
Chapter 110
Chapters 111-114
Chapter 115
Chapters 116-119
Chapters 120-124
Chapters 125-127
Chapter 128
Chapters 129-132
Chapters 133-135
Epilogue
Character Analyses
Critical Essays
CliffsNotes Review
CliffsNotes Resource Center
Index

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