Friday, June 23, 2006

The White Whale....

When you start dreaming about a real property outline, things are pretty serious. Somehow, in the middle of the outline, there was something about Frodo and the Lord of the Rings. Don't ask me to explain it. I just know that I've properly approached this thing. I could work harder, but I think the breaks help me generate more energy. I've already given up quite a bit to get where I am, for questionable reasons, and at this point, it's really about finishing what I started. Rewriting history. When you have already spent two days and 18 hours climbing to where you are, you don't turn around so easily. Unless your a moron. Or a quitter.

Giving up this gorgeous summer has been hard. I have, historically retreated to the mountains in the summers and as a teacher had the time to do so. I spent them crossing clear rushing streams and watching the moonlight rise over granite spires. I've heard the coyotes calling and had my food stolen by bears. I've been bitten, slashed, bruised and battered. Burned and starved, dehydrated to the point of cramping up. And I miss it. I really wonder what I'm doing. But a while back I forgot about it all. It's supposed to be about having a better life. I guess doing things that are difficult is a part of that. I can't be an ultimate fighter (or I really don't want to be one. I've been kicked in the head while wearing pads and that hurt)although I'm fair to middlin at karate. I can get a bar number.

But now it's just wake mbe' can't even enjoy movies. That's a bad sign. I was always able to enjoy movies in law school...

Ahab's desire to pursue Moby Dick is contrasted with Starbuck's desire to run a normal commercial whaling ship. It can be seen as the clash of idealism and pragmatism.

The white whale itself, for example, has been read as symbolically representative of good and evil, as has Ahab. The white whale has also been seen as a metaphor for the elements of life that are out of our control.

The Pequod's quest to hunt down Moby Dick itself is also widely viewed as allegorical. To Ahab, killing the whale becomes the ultimate goal in his life, and this observation can also be expanded allegorically so that the whale represents everyone's goals. Furthermore, his vengeance against the whale is analogous to man's struggle against fate. The only escape from Ahab's vision is seen through the Pequod's occasional encounters with other ships, called gams. Readers could consider what exactly Ahab will do if he, in fact, succeeds in his quest: having accomplished his ultimate goal, what else is there left for him to do? Thus, the outcome of the quest is irrelevant, and actually completing the journey is not the goal - it's the "thrill of the chase" that's important. Similarly, Melville may be implying that people in general need something to reach for in life, or contrariwise that such a goal can destroy one if allowed to overtake all other concerns.

Ahab's pipe is widely looked upon as the riddance of happiness in Ahab's life. By throwing the pipe overboard, Ahab signifies that he no longer can enjoy simple pleasures in life; instead, he dedicates his entire life to the pursuit of his obsession, the killing of the White Whale, Moby Dick.
I think I need a cigar....


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