“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball.”

These words are the opening dialog to the literary masterpiece Moby Dick. The Herman Melville novel was first published in 1851 and according to every English and Literature teacher I ever had it is considered of the great American novels. The story on its surface is about a man in search of a whale. Not just any whale, but a white whale. I’ve been “forced” to read this book on numerous occasions throughout my education. Each time the teacher would tell us about the complex themes, metaphors, and stylized language. To me, it was just the story of a guy looking for a fish; I mean mammal.


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