Becoming Better...
Man Versus Nature

Revenge and Courage

The Madness of Captain Ahab


Captain Ahab, all of this is madness.  The whale has taken your leg again.  begged Starbuck. Ahab turned away.  Then he spoke. “This hunt was rehearsed by you and me a billion years before this ocean came to be.  Fate cannot be changed!


Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville, is an adventure novel set on a whaling ship in the the 19th century. People were trying to obtain whale oil to provide fuel for their lamps, machines and technologies. However, their excessive killing angered the king white whale. On a previous trip to capture the whales, the Captain, Ahab, lost his leg to a white whale, which fueled his desire for revenge and  to kill the white whale. 

     Ahab is willing to risk his his life and his crew’s life to get his revenge. His crew still respected his behavior. In the final chapter, Ahab and his crew are trying to kill the white whale; however, it was the whale who killed Ahab.

     Soon, Ahab darted his harpoon at the whale.  The angry and distressed animal flew forward.  Somehow, in the convoluted movements of the whale and Ahab’s foolish attempts at maintaining his hold on the whale, the rope wrapped around Captain Ahab’s neck.  He was pulled into the sea so quickly that his crew hardly saw it.  They sat in shock.  The captain was with the whale and Fedallah in the ocean!  The captain was dead.

     Ahab is willing to die to get his revenge. Ironically Ahab’s revenge showed courage, Courage plays a big part in life. In the words of an old saying: “If you have the courage to begin, then you will also have the courage to succeed in life.” We should not be stubborn as Captain Ahab; however, we need courage to become successful.

     Moby Dick is a classic old reading where I found themes of revenge and courage. The book taught me that in order to achieve your goals, I need to first have the courage to take on risks like Captain Abraham. 

     But I do not take revenge.






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