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Word Count: 636
Symbolism is using a person place or thing to represent something else which is larger and often untouchable It is used in literature to allow authors to be objective while still expressing hisher views Symbols in a story can be interpreted differently by different people Some symbols stand for things that are obvious while others need a more involved explanation In Moby-Dick Herman Melville uses symbolism of the whale to express the theme of humanistic relationships with nature The color of the whale in Moby-Dick is a symbol that can be interpreted differently The whiteness of the whale can have obvious meanings such as innocence purity and cleanliness However to some people the color white can be symbolic of death solitude strength power and a god-like appearance To Ahab the whale is not only the beast that removed his leg he also becomes a symbol of evil and injustice Because the whale has removed Ahabs leg Melville shows that Moby-Dick is capable of great violence However he also shows the whale living peacefully and tranquilly at sea until he is attacked by the menMelville 290-295 This shows the contradiction of the whiteness of the whale because Melville emphasizes that white can mean both tranquillity and good as well as terror and evil Throughout Moby-Dick the whale is given divine qualities and often compared to God Just as many people fear God they also fear Moby-Dick The characters in Moby-Dick all seem to have a different outlook on the symbolism of the whale To Captain Ahab the whale symbolizes all that is evil in the universe and he assumes a personal vengeance against the whale to kill it In destroying the whale Ahab is also destroying his own fears and evils that face him in the world Ishmael on the other hand has quite a different interpretation for Moby-Dick He sees the whale as a representation of nature in all aspects from its beauty and wonders
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