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Ahab Compared to Jonah Essay


The Defiance of God from Jonah and then doing what God had order him to do and Captain Ahab life nearly getting taken by Moby Dick and still wanting to capture it causes him to lose his life, it shows how people try to fight against fate but to no avail end losing to fate. And what is fate? When a person does something they would feel strongly about it but when the outcome isnt good they would think its fate that it wasnt a good outcome. But when the outcome is good they would think it was fate that brought the outcome to be good. So is life pre-determined? Is fighting what was pre-determined, pre-determined already?

Jonah was given a mission from God to go to Nineveh (greatest city of the Assyrian Empire) and covey the message of salvation not only to the people of Israel but also to Israels enemies. Jonah didnt want to preach to the enemies of the land and let Nineveh die of its sin. Since he didnt want to accomplish the task he fled to Joppa and got on a ship that sailed to Tarshish. God seeing that Jonah was trying to flee by sea calls up a great storm to give fear to the shipmates. As fear arose to the shipmates the captain ordered his crew to find who has cause trouble. The whole crew determine it was Jonah and they who are you? Jonah tells the crew his story and volunteers to be thrown overboard as a sacrifice to suffice the anger of the God. The crew was reluctant to throw Jonah overboard at first as they try to roll their ship onto land but after countless tries they give up and throws Jonah into the sea to save their own lives. The storm stops and the crew fearing the lord offer a sacrifice to him and promise to serve him. God then calls forth a great whale and swallows up Jonah for three days and three nights before spiting him out. While in the stomach of the whale Jonah composes a hymn that was worthy of Gods mercy (In My Distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depth of the Sheol I called for help, and you listened to my cry.) The whale vomits Jonah onto land and Jonah completes the prophecy. The man of Nineveh obeys the warning and gave up on their evil ways. But Jonah seeing this is not happy with God because God has too much love and just by giving up on their evil ways can have Gods mercy.

Jonah was trying to choose his own path that was defying Gods order and not preaching to the enemy city. In choosing his own path was he going up against fate? And when God was choosing Jonah to be the one to preach to Nineveh the God foresee Jonah fleeing or was there a greater force that God know not about? Was the entire event that happen with Jonah pre-determine? All we can do is speculate on these questions, as there is no concrete proof to determine from right or wrong. But if peoples life was pre-determine is there a point in living your life if you cant change what you want to do? Pre-determine can also be an excuse for people describing their own lives.

Religion was a factor in Jonah and The Whale. The crewmembers was against throwing Jonah into the sea and tried to row their ship to land but failed to. They turn to God and prays to him on what they should do to survive. God is the most holy figure in the world and he has mercy on people that have gave up on evil, but in order to enlighten his servant Jonah, God involves innocent people that were on their leisurely sails in the sea. This also raise the question if there is a God why do natural disaster kill people and destroy people lives if he can control it?

Captain Ahab has an obsession with the white whale Moby Dick. Captain Ahab has been a sailor for over forty years and is the captain of the Pequod. But as he encounters the white whale not only did he not capture it but also instead has his leg taken by the whale causing him to walk on a fake leg. Due to Captain Ahab personality he is blinded by his vengeance on the whale that he has no human emotions and is like a robot. He would do anything to capture Moby Dick even if it meant striking at the sun. While Moby Dick is describe as this immortal beast that is the embodiment of evil. If any ship tries to cross path with Moby Dick then they better hope they havent committed any sin and have Gods blessing because it would swallow you into an eternity of darkness or it would drag you to the depths of hell. As for Captain Ahab he had escaped from evil at the cost of his leg. But instead of being to scared he wants to face evil itself again. Was this the fate of Captain Ahab to die in the sea? Or was it just his obsession over the whale? When Captain Ahab and his crew spots Moby Dick Captain Ahab was like a man possess as he was risking his life without caring about the shipmates life. The first and second encounter were the same result as both Ahab failed to capture Moby Dick and Moby Dick failing to sink the Pequod. But the third encounter was different. Both Captain Ahab and Moby Dick rushing at each other, Moby Dick quickly gains the advantage by tipping over Captain Ahabs boat. As Captain Ahab tries to swim back to the Pequod, Moby Dick sinks the boat and in a final effort Captain Ahab throws a harpoon into Moby Dick and injures it. But as Moby Dick swims under water Captain Ahab is drag along to his death. This shows how determine Captain Ahab is in getting vengeance against Moby Dick. Even when he knows he is about to die he still stands up to this beast head on without fear.

Was the fate of Captain Ahab to die in the sea? Or was it his fate to die by the fins of a whale? Or was everything pre-determined already? Captain Ahab could have a whole different life if he wasnt obsessed with Moby Dick, he could have been drinking beer in a tavern telling stories about his adventures and telling the great story of his encounter with Moby Dick and how he loss his leg. But he chose to go against Moby Dick and ended his life with no regrets. Does pre-determine, fate only apply to humans? Maybe it was Moby Dicks fate to fight Captain Ahab and at the end up killing him, while Captain Ahab was just unlucky to be the chosen one.

Both stories had similarities and difference, but it also has contents on philosophy that are still unsolved. Religion played a role in both stories while in Jonah and The Whale Jonah didnt agree with how God would forgive the Nineveh people if they stop their evil ways and also how people turn to faith when they are trying to avoid death. In Moby Dick religion has a role as there is many characters bearing the same name as holy figures from the bible, Elijah, Ahab, and Ishmael. The irony is that in The Bible

Elijah and Ahab didnt have a good relationship. Ahab who was the King of Israel married Jezebel, Jezebel the daughter of King Tyre favored Baal, which was an enemy to the Hebrew God. As Jezebel Elijah was manipulating Ahab a prophet of the Hebrew Bible prophesized that there would be no rain on this land and it came true. The irony is Elijah who also appears in Moby Dick prophesized that Captain Ahab and the Pequod was going to face great danger during the voyage came true too. The difference is that when Jonah was swallow by the whale he had repented and prayed for forgiveness from God, but Ahab didnt pray to God even when he was going to die during the fight against Moby Dick.

Both stories involve people fighting against their fates. Jonah tries to disobey God but at the end he obeys what God told him to do. And Captain Ahab losing to Moby Dick once that cause him to lose his leg and wanting vengeance loses again which cost his life. Was all the event how pre-determine? Or was it God that determined it? Maybe there is a greater force that God himself cant control. But does fighting against your own fate change your fate or are you creating your own fate that was pre-determined already? Moby Dick is a book that talks about the adventure of a ship of people trying to capture a whale, but in the text itself it creates questions about the world and specifically about the life of an human.

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