“Moby-Dick; or, the Whale” is a novel written by American writer Herman Melville more than a century ago. This masterpiece was ignored by the public and critics during its time, but modern society highly appreciates the story about the white whale. The novel depicts the story about the crew of the whaling ship Pequod, whose captain is obsessed with one single idea – to kill the white whale.
The first draft of “Moby Dick” was about the adventures of whalers. Later, Melville changed the conception of the novel and rewrote part of the text. Melville had created a great story that is not limited to the deck of a whaling ship. The book is highly popular nowadays and has many film adaptions.
If you need to find an interesting topic for a literature essay or a research paper on “Moby Dick,” we are happy to share with you a list of “Moby Dick” essay topics that you may use as a basis for your paper.
Compare and Contrast “Moby Dick” Essay Topics
- Compare and contrast the “Moby Dick” book and film adaptation.
- Compare how freedom is perceived by Melville’s “Moby Dick” and Thoreau’s “Walden.”
- Compare and contrast “Moby Dick” and “Macbeth.”
- Compare and contrast the characteristic qualities of Ahab and Starbuck in “Moby Dick.”
- Compare and contrast “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Moby Dick.”
- Compare and contrast “Heart of Darkness” and “Moby Dick.”
- Compare and contrast crew members and creatures in “Moby Dick.”
- Compare and contrast how the characters Ishmael and Ahab search the truth.
- Compare and contrast “Moby Dick” and “King Lear” in the context of the relationship with the natural world.
- Compare and contrast Melville’s “Moby Dick” and Philbrick’s “In the Heart of the Sea.”
- Compare and contrast the image of the ship as a machine and the crew as a micro-society.
- Compare and contrast the themes of revenge and cultural differences in “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Moby Dick.”
- Compare and contrast “Moby Dick” and “The Book of Jonah.”
Analytic Essay Topics for “Moby Dick”
- Analyze “Moby Dick” from a psychological perspective.
- How can “Moby Dick” be interpreted from an environmental perspective?
- Analyze the symbol of the gold doubloon.
- How are insane characters presented in the novel “Moby Dick”? Do they differ from each other? How?
- How does fate relate to the novel? Define the role of fate in “Moby Dick.”
- Evaluate the image of women in “Moby Dick.”
- Analyze “Moby Dick” in the context of slave law.
- Analyze “Moby Dick” from a Marxist context.
- How is authoritarian power depicted in “Moby Dick”?
- Analyze the character of Captain Boomer. What role does he play in the novel?
- Analyze the emotional state of Ishmael throughout the novel.
- Examine the relationship of Ahab with his crew. Define the role of comradery.
- Analyze the Ahab character. Consider his leadership skills and monomania.
- Analyze the symbolism of sperm and spermaceti.
- Describe the relationship between God and man in “Moby Dick.”
- How does Moby Dick syndrome relate to the same-named novel?
Argumentative “Moby Dick” Topics
- Is the quest for Moby Dick hopeless?
- Can “Moby Dick” be considered a political allegory? Why?
- What is Ahab trying to conquer in his quest for the white whale?
- What life lessons can be learned from “Moby Dick”?
- Why is the hunt for Moby Dick suggested as a noble and heroic event, rather than a crazy one?
- What is the importance of sermonizing in the novel “Moby Dick”?
- How do Montaigne, Rabelais, and Shakespeare fit into Melville’s account?
- How did audiences react to “Moby Dick” when it was published? Has modern society changed the attitude to the novel? Why?
- What are major conflicts in “Moby Dick”?
- Can “Moby Dick” be considered as a highly religious novel? What biblical themes are represented in the novel?
- How do Ishmael’s digressions relate to the main story?
- Why does “Moby Dick” remain relevant for modern society?
Exploratory “Moby Dick” Essay Topics
- Explain the symbolic meaning of the image of Moby Dick.
- Define the significance of the color white in the novel “Moby Dick.”
- Explain the meaning of the title. What other title could the novel have?
- Describe Ahab’s rituals and their meaning to the context.
- Explore the biblical and mythological allusions in the book “Moby Dick.” Explain its presence in individual instances and in general.
- What is the symbolic meaning of Queequeg’s coffin?
- Explain why the author uses many different ethnicities in the novel.
- What is the main theme of “Moby Dick”? Provide several examples from the novel.
- How do portentous omens influence the reading?
- What is the meaning of the foreshadowing of the presence of the white whale?
- How do the battle in Afghanistan and the Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States relate to the novel?
- What is the purpose of biblical names in “Moby Dick”?
- How is the myth of American exceptionalism connected to “Moby Dick”?
- Describe the most significant scenes in “Moby Dick.”
- How is water depicted in the novel? Why are humans attracted by the water?
Literary Approaches in “Moby Dick”
- How does Melville use symbolism and imagery to develop conflicts?
- Explore the technical terms used in the text. Explain the terms and explain their significance.
- How does the author’s choice of syntax, descriptive passages, and specific literary devices make the novel “Moby Dick” special?
- Explain how Melville develops one motif within a group of chapters.
- What meaning do the whaling chapters have? Will the plot change if the reader skips these chapters?
- How is irony used in “Moby Dick”? Provide examples.
- Describe how the author drives parallels between land and the sea.
- How does Melville depict solitude and isolation in the novel?
- What are the implications of Melville’s quotation from Darwin’s “Voyage of the Naturalist”?
- How has Melville’s experience influenced the novel “Moby Dick”?
- Find and explain the connection of “Moby Dick” and Walt Whitman’s poetry.
- How does figurative language add value to the plot?
That’s all, folks! All you need is to pick the most inspiring and interesting topic from our list of essay topics for “Moby Dick” and start writing an awesome essay. We believe that you will successfully deal with your assignment and get a high score for it. However, we know that anything can happen, so keep in mind that GPALabs is always here to lend a helping fin. Our experts can write a significant essay on any topic 24/7.