Life is a constant struggle with those around us. In Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, this struggle is the constant desire to overcome the opponent. Despite similarities, two characters in Moby-Dick showcase this constant desire to defeat one another. The wily Captain Ahab and mysterious white whale Moby Dick are drawn to each other by their commonalities, but their meeting is a confrontation of opposites; each character tries to annihilate the other.
[...] That wild madness that's only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I should be dismembered; and Aye! I lost this leg. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer. Now, then, be the prophet and the fulfiller (160). Ahab is determined to fulfill the prophecies that he chooses for himself. Ahab is as much a victim of himself as he is a perpetrator, though, and the obvious opposition he creates between himself and Moby Dick leads him to his actual prophesied end. [...]
[...] Both Ahab and Moby Dick are obsessed with self-preservation, and these conflicting interests both require that they kill the other in order to maintain their own life. Yet, while Ahab's determination to defeat Moby Dick is self-imposed and based on his obsession with triumphing over the whale, Moby Dick's need to kill Ahab is based only on the fact that if he does not kill the captain, the captain will kill him; it is, in a sense, an ongoing battle in Ahab's mind, as well as in the material world. [...]
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