ENGL 1714 Reading the Fate of Man, the Face of God, and the Malevolence of the Whale in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (Spring: 3 )
Moby-Dick (1851), arguably the greatest American novel, raises questions fundamental to human existence: What is fate? freedom? the meaning of life? the world? Can we know it? This course examines how characters, narrative voice, genre, and plotting create an almost biblical text; how depictions of whaling become parables; how historical references reflect contemporary politics; and how fiction can bring us to reflect on our own lives. Like Queequeg’s tattoos, it presents a “mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth . . . whose mysteries not even [he] himself could read” while its value resides in simply raising the questions.
Instructor(s): Michael Martin
Last Updated: 06-Mar-17