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Word Count: 946
The sea itself is godly--a source of ideas--the inuitive freedom of man himself If youve ever studied Platos sequence of reality youll understand the implications There is a supreme being this is the ultimate reality It exists without the existence of anything else It is from this being that all ideas come forth This is the second reality Each of us is an idea from the supreme being The third reality is a physical body for the idea The fourth is participation in the idea ie sitting in the idea chair Melville used the ocean to represent the supreme beingexistence that each person strives to rejoin But there is an unfamiliarity with this discovery that makes the sea dangerous and frightening just as divine truth is frightening --Im using the Bantam Classic edition of the book All the page numbers I give you are from my edition-- If they but knew it almost all men in their degree some time or other cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me p 11 But that same image we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life and this is the key to it all p 13 Such dreary streets blocks of blackness not houses on either hand and here and there a candle like a candle moving about in a tomb p 18--Melville debases the land as much as he reveres the ocean furthering its divinity Can it be then that by that act of physical isolation he signifies his spiritual withdrawal for the time from all outward wordly ties and connexions sic p 45--This implies that isolation upon the sea is a spiritual awakening and experience Read The Lee Shore Ch 23--it too describes the mortality and worldliness of the port as opposed to the immortality of the ocean
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