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Author Topic: Moby Dick - what a struggle!  (Read 223 times)

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Offline Pat

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Moby Dick - what a struggle!
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:09:47 AM »
I was led to read "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville after hearing a discussion abut the book on the radio. And what a struggle it's been for me. Not really a pleasure at all. I know that I read it as a child, but it must have been an adapted version for children. Moby Dick is known as one of America's greatest novels but I have to admit to skipping pages of narrative that just did not make sense to me. I think all those sailors were on some sort of hallucinogenic drug.  :cutecheerleader:


It is full of literary and cultural allusions. There's lots of symbolism that I don't 'get' and philosophical discussions galore between the crew. On the other hand, the adventure of whale hunting in the 19th century is interesting as is the very detailed descriptions of how each part of a whale's body is processed.


BUT I can't say I'd recommend it if you want an easy read. This morning I finished it and it was a great relief.

Offline Treasure

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Re: Moby Dick - what a struggle!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 05:41:38 PM »
If you read it as a child, I bet it was an abridged version. It's definitely a difficult book to get through. I find that a lot of the classics that the "experts" recommend tend to be like that. Some of them are wonderful reads though! I love looking for symbolism in books. It can be challenging at first when you're just getting started, but you'll start to see them everywhere soon enough. This is a great online symbolism dictionary.

Empty Nest Moms

Re: Moby Dick - what a struggle!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 05:41:38 PM »

Offline Berta

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Re: Moby Dick - what a struggle!
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 05:40:16 AM »
What a coincidence! I struggled through Moby Dick about 15 years ago when my daughter had it on a school reading list. The experience left me pretty traumatised! @Pat I admire you for reading it when you didn't have to do so.


Thank you for the link to the symbolism dictionary @Treasure - I looked up "Whale" and the belly of a whale is a symbol of the realm death and rebirth and that emerging from a whale is a symbol of initiation into new life.

I do like the symbolism dictionary though and shall bookmark it to dip into again.

Offline Kidless

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Re: Moby Dick - what a struggle!
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 06:41:16 AM »
Moby Dick is a tough book to read.  You certainly showed more perseverance than I would have.  I would have quit reading long before you did.  I tried to read Uncle Tom's Cabin once in the original dialect.  It was hilarious to hear me try and pronounce some of those words.  I guess the hardest thing I have ever read is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.  I kept waiting for something to happen and it never did.

Empty Nest Moms

Re: Moby Dick - what a struggle!
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 06:41:16 AM »

 

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