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Herman Melville- I Biographical Insights A The culture this great author was a part of was the time in American history where inspiring works of literature began to emerge It was also a time when American writers had not completely separated its literary heritage from Europe partly because there were successful literary genius flourishing there B Herman Melville was born on August 1 1819 he was the son of Allan and Maria Melville During Hermans childhood he lived in the good neighborhoods of New York City In 1832 Herman suffered tragedy when his father died after trying to cope with the stress of debts and misfortunes After a short time in a business house in New York City Herman determined he needed to go to sea He spent years traveling on a variety of ships including whaling ships C1 Melvilles perspective on life is that God created the universe with an infinite number of meanings and man is always trying to determine one specific meaning D2 The lessons that Melville is likely to weave into his writing are 1 An exposition on whales and the whaling industry 2 A commentary on the universe and human destiny 3 Thoughts about God and Nature III Characters B The protagonist in this book is Ishmael a Christian schoolteacher and part-time sailor Ishmaels role in the hunt for Moby Dick is to interpret what is happening He discusses his reasons for going to sea and interprets and looks for understanding a number of reasons for any specific action where other characters only understand one reason C It is hard to say what changes take place in Ishmaels personality since he is the narrator he doesnt talk about himself he only talks
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