Monday, April 18, 2011

Final Proposal

Cline, B.. Tongueless: Representation of the mentally disabled and the novel. Ph.D. dissertation, Western Michigan University, United States -- Michigan. Retrieved April 1, 2011, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text.(Publication No. AAT 3424850).
I would like to use Cline to aid my discussion of Ahab and Pip’s relationship. I used it in my original essay as evidence for the loss of Pip’s sanity, but I would like to be able to read further in the text and find portions that apply to other aspects of Pip’s disability.

Ellison, Ralph. (1995). Invisible man. New York: Random House.
I might use Ellison to talk about Pip and his dispossession from the controlling force in the ocean. I’m also going to use Brother Jack’s discussion on the “terminal point in history” and apply it to Pip and Ahab’s relationship.

Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon Press. 1964.
Marcuse will definitely be used to talk about Pip as a disruptive character and how that effects the overall meaning of the novel. I might use him to talk about Moby Dick’s effectiveness in refusing the current society or, as Marcuse would call it, in being a piece of true art.

Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. Print.
I will be using Moby Dick as the main text for this paper.
Yothers, B. (2006), Terrors of the Soul: Religious Pluralism, Epistemological Dread, and Cosmic Exaltation in Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. Poe Studies/Dark Romanticism, 39: 136–144. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-6095.2006.tb00194.x
I plan to use this article to talk about the eclectic approach Ishmael takes to religion and how it reflects Melville’s stance on the subject.

FRUSCIONE, J. (2008), “What Is Called Savagery”:. Leviathan, 10: 3–24. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-1849.2008.01217.x
I am going to use this paper to delve further into Melville’s promotion for equality across races and especially in the South Pacific. I will then use this to talk about how Melville’s beliefs manifest themselves in Ishmael.

Argument: Melville, through the subtle use of Ishmael, the foreign sailors, and the relationship between Ahab and Pip, claims that eclectic attitude toward religion is ideal.

Counterargument: Melville is advocating for Christianity throughout the novel.

Purpose: To understand the greater meaning of the novel, or at least what we guess Melville intended the meaning to be.

Marcuse: Marcuse will play a part in this paper by contributing to a discussion about how Pip is a disrupting character. I will be utilizing pages 59 and 60 as evidence that he functions in this way and what that characterization contributes to the overall meaning of the work, that the creator is not a loving god. Also the passages on page 68 and 69 about communication will be used, including, “The word refuses the unifying, sensible rule of the sentence.” That specific passage will help explain that one of Pip’s characteristics that deem him an effective disruptive character is his erratic speech. His nonsensical language contributes to his ability to help disillusion the reader by acting as an antagonist to the current society. I am also toying with the idea of, once the greater meaning of Moby Dick has been established with evidence, applying Marcuse to determine if it can be considered an antagonistic work of art.

Keep/Change: I plan on keeping almost all of my discussion on Ahab and Pip with some refining, but getting rid of the introduction and conclusion. I want to add a paragraph talking about Pip as a disruptive character right after his current paragraph and then use both of the evidence provided in those paragraphs to prove Ahab’s motivation for hunting Moby Dick is to understand why the controller does what he does and, as the controller’s opposition, kill the controller for the power. I then want to add a detailed analysis of what Ahab truly believes is behind the mask. In the current draft I dance around what I’m really trying to say and I think it would be beneficial to dedicate a few paragraphs to really hitting home what he believes. I plan on analyzing the Ahab-Pip relationship from the perspective of Brother Jack’s “terminal point” and some of the “scientific terms” used by the brotherhood. I will then add a paragraph about Ishmael’s support and acceptance of the “cannibals,” specifically Queequeg. I also plan on adding an analysis on the Christian characters in the novel, like Father Mapple and the owners of the Pequod. Then I want to use all of that evidence and bring it together to figure out what Melville’s stance on religion is. Length permitting, I would also like to use Marcuse to comment on the effectiveness of Moby Dick as part of the “the great refusal” in the area of religion.

1 comment:

  1. I find all of this very interesting and worthwhile, and I don't really have any complaints. I do, however, have one important conceptual question. You mention a number of times that you think Melville is advocating some kind of religious eclectisism, with some model of Christianity being the opposite or alternative. While this is in modest danger of becoming too vague (simply because "eclectisism" could be either vague or precise, well or poorly explained - be careful to be clear about what you mean), what really interests me is what *you* think.

    It's one thing to argue that Melville, or Ishmael, has a particular religious vision. That argument, to a specialist, can certainly be interesting.

    But why does it interest you? Why is this topic important, or meaningful to you? Maybe you don't know (yet), and that might be fine - but it might be that you want to *use* Melville, to think through, define, qualify, praise, or attack some modes of religious thought.

    For this essay to be good, you just need to execute what you've proposed well. For it to be great, we need to know why this topic is important; we need it to be important.