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Henry David Thoreau and Herman Melville focused their writings on how man was affected by nature They translated their philosophies though both the portrayal of their protagonist and their own self exploration In Moby Dick Melville writes about Ahabs physical and metaphysical struggle over the great white whale Moby Dick symbolic of mans struggle against the overwhelming forces of nature Ahabs quest is reported and experienced through the eyes of Ishmael Melvilles use of the third persons biographical standpoint exposes conflicting viewpoints that were both in agreement and disagreement with Ahabs quest creatively allowing Melville to transcend the story line and expostulate his own philosophies In contrast Thoreau wrote from an autobiographical standpoint revealing his own internal conflicts with mans struggle against nature In Walden - A life in the Woods Thoreau reveals his mental and spiritual beliefs through a personal journey in which he strives to become in tune with nature working not to be victorious over these universal forces but rather to participate in harmony with nature in tern exposing love and truth Both authors attempt to analyze all aspects of nature and its relevance to human life They explore the powers and influences of nature over mankind However Melville centers his point of view upon mankind in conflict with natures forces while Thoreau believes that if mankind experiences nature we will envelope ideas which will teach mankind to live harmoniously in our natural environment in turn allowing individuals to reach the highest levels of achievement synergistically with nature In Moby Dick Herman Melville illustrates mans quest to attain the supreme power of God through the monomaniacal Captain Ahab Captain Ahab is obsessed with the desire to destroy Moby Dick his nemesis which is truly symbolic of mans overwhelming quest to control and conquer nature Melville depicts Ahab as an evil egotistical human whose willingness to combat the forces of nature represents mans failure to understand his place in the universe Melville uses
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