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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 )


Course Description

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narrative voice, genre, and plotting create an almost biblical text; how depictions of whaling become parables; how historical references reflect contemporary politics; and how fiction can bring us to reflect on our own lives.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

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Core Renewal Course: Enduring Questions


Last Updated: 06-Mar-17