Committee Chair

Shaheen, Aaron

Committee Member

Jordan, Joseph; Stuart, Christopher

Department

Dept. of English

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

This thesis explores the major religious themes of repentance, redemption, and expiation in Moby-Dick. While critics have examined some of these themes in isolation, my thesis will demonstrate how Melville takes these Christian doctrines and inverts them in order to display a shift from traditional religious practice to a genuine faith for those outside of God's covenant people. Using Father Mapple's sermon on Jonah as a paradigm through which to see the other religious inversions, I will explore how Ishmael repents of a false view of immorality, finds redemption through an immoral union, and follows a wicked captain who offers the hope of expiating spiritual guilt. When seen together, these inverted religious themes help us understand the cohesive nature of Melville's religious allusions in Moby-Dick, and also explains how Melville can express in a letter: "I have written a wicked book and feel spotless as the lamb."

Degree

M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.

Date

5-2017

Name

Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 -- Moby Dick; Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 -- Criticism and interpretation

Keyword

Melville; Moby-Dick

Discipline

English Language and Literature

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

iv, 82 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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