Moby Dick, or the Whale, A common consensus among critics is that at this point, the book was a familiar sea yarn along the lines of his earlier work. Melwille, He has been described as "the... More > most ambitious book ever conceived by an American writer."
In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the journey of the main characters, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God are all examined, their personal beliefs, their places in universe. The narrator's reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor's life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices, such as stage directions, extended soliloquies, and asides. The book portrays destructive obsession and monomania, as well as the assumption of anthropomorphism.
Moby-Dick begins with the line "Call me Ishmael." According to the American Book Review's, the most recognizable in Western literature.< Less