“Moby-Dick is a strangely compelling book.” Scholarship and commentary help the reader understand why Ishmael’s tale is so compelling, but not always why it is strangely so. The perennial search for a master key to unlock the strangeness of Moby-Dick beneath its infinite layers has added more mesmerizing layers, but if many of the proposed keys fit into the lock of Moby-Dick, why is there yet a sense that none have completely opened “the great flood-gates?” (Moby-Dick 22, hereafter “MD”). Is it because none of them are right, or that they are only partly right, or that Melville himself was confused?
Moby Dick (Melville, Herman)
"Call Thee Ishmael,"
Sophia and Philosophia: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://repository.belmont.edu/sph/vol1/iss3/3