Have you always wanted to read Moby-Dick but were afraid to dive in? Well, fear not, scaredy-cats, because we've got the next best thing—Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea.
This nonfiction book depicts the mind-blowing Essex disaster: an event that directly inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick. In 1819—at the height of Nantucket's booming whaling industry—the Essex sets off for a run-of-the-mill whaling trip. The ship is meant to spend two to three years at sea, collecting as much whale oil as possible before returning home to critical acclaim. Oh, how we wish it were that easy.
A few freak storms and one whale attack later, the Essex has sunk, leaving its surviving crewmembers to traverse thousands of miles of open ocean to the South American coast. That's more difficult than playing Dark Souls without cheat codes.
As the crewmembers struggle with this completely unforeseen situation—not to mention their increasingly raging appetites—we watch as formerly civilized men sink into cannibalism (oh dear), as they're forced to eat their companions just to survive. It's like the Donner Party meets Deep Blue Sea, with an extra helping of awesome.
Beyond depicting a thrilling tale, In the Heart of the Sea delves in-depth into the socio-political climate of the 1800s. Author Nathaniel Philbrick injects boatloads of insightful commentary on class, racial inequality, and the Industrial Revolution into the book without taking his focus off the intense action that is at its heart.
And hey, if it's good enough for Herman Melville, you can be darn tootin' that it's good enough for you.
Listen, if crazed whale-hunters, brutal aquatic battles, and multiple instances of cannibalism aren't enough to get you interested, then we don't know what will.
But hey, you'll also learn a bit about history from In the Heart of the Sea. The whaling industry depicted in the book is one that literally fueled the modern world—before we were digging wells or fracking, we were draining oil from whale's skulls. We're not making this up.
With this in mind, In the Heart of the Sea can tell you a few things about problems in the modern world. It shows us the value of environmentalism. It reveals the pitfalls of social and economic inequality. It exposes the horrendous consequences of Big Businesses being left to run awry. This stuff sounding familiar to you yet?
Whether you're reading the book to understand these big socio-political issues or simply to enjoy a riveting true-life tale, there's one thing we can guarantee—In the Heart of the Sea will not disappoint.
Moby Dick/ in the Heart of the Sea Compare and Contrast EssayGet Your
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Moby Dick/ In the Heart of the Sea Compare and Contrast Essay Moby Dick and In the Heart of the Sea are two very similar yet different books. In Heart of the Sea was the inspiration for Moby Dick, so no wonder why they have very comparable plots. These two books have many important literary elements that connect with each other and elements that are complete opposites of each other. I will be analyzing these elements by comparing and contrasting Moby Dick and In the Heart of the Sea. Each book has their similarities and differences.
Each book is solely based on a sperm whale attack on a crew at sea. Moby Dick is about Captain Ahab’s revenge for Moby Dick and Ishmael narrating. While In the Heart of the Sea is about a crew’s regular voyage gone wrong and narrated by the author. They are both fascinating books with very different plot twists. Moby Dick and In the Heart of the Sea have many different themes. But, both do share one important similar theme; man vs. nature. In both books, the crew is faced with a sperm whale that threatens/ kills lives. In Moby Dick, Ishmael survived out of the entire crew.
In the Heart of the Sea, the crew managed to get away but not all make it to land alive. Let’s get back to the whale now. It’s ironic how the hunters got hunted by the whale(s) in each book. It was as if nature was fighting back and wasn’t going to allow whale killings to go on any longer. Another similar theme is survival. In both books the crew (or majority of the crew) had to survive and do whatever it took to survive. In the Heart of the Sea, it meant cannibalism. In Moby Dick, It meant to find life supporting materials. Moby Dick is full of symbols while, In the Heart of the Sea is not.
While reading I could immediately find a bunch of symbols for Moby Dick. I can only come to the conclusion that Moby Dick only has symbols because it is a fiction book; In the Heart of the Sea did not have any symbols because it is non-fiction book. I know that it is not true for all books but I think it is true for these books. The symbols I found most significant for Moby Dick were, Queequeg’s coffin and the Pequod. Queequeg’s coffin symbolized life and death and life from death. The coffin ironically saves a life instead of holding a lost life. The Pequod is the crew’s ship.
The Pequod was the name of a celebrated tribe of Indians that were put to extinction by “white men”. And the Pequod ship was put to death by a white whale. One symbol I found for In the Heart of the Sea was, the Essex. The Essex was the name of the ship for this crew. This whaling ship was celebrated because they provided wealth to others and many felt pride to be a part of the crew. But ironically enough, the unthinkable happens and the Essex is torn apart. There was no longer pride left in the crew. Moby Dick and In the Heart of the Sea are both very different titles.
They are both significant to the book as a whole and can allude to what will happen in the book or what the book is about. For Moby Dick, that title is obvious. The book is about a whale named Moby Dick. Moby Dick is significant because, the whole book is about the Pequod’s hunt for Moby Dick. Ahab’s obsession for the whale causes the entire book to focus on the whale. In the Heart of the Sea is also a very obvious title but allows for some mystery about the point of the book. We can tell from the title that someone or something is stuck or stranded in the heart of the sea.
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In the Heart of the Sea is significant because, it tells the reader what the book might be about. Each book has their similarities and differences of their own. But through these unique circumstances of In the Heart of the Sea inspiring Moby Dick we can find interesting connections. Though they are different genres of literature and authors, we can look for clues and hidden meanings behind different literature elements that bring the reader in for more. I have to admit that these two books are equally surprising in content and in twists.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Moby Dick/ in the Heart of the Sea Compare and Contrast Essay
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