Mentally Ill or Culturally Mad: Study of Madness in Moby-Dick

سال انتشار: 1399
نوع سند: مقاله کنفرانسی
زبان: انگلیسی
مشاهده: 371

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تاریخ نمایه سازی: 19 شهریور 1399

چکیده مقاله:

Madness is one of the important themes in the 19th-century masterpiece of American literature, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; The Whale. Regardless of being either the minor or main character, many of the characters throughout the story appear to be insane. In order to explore the idea of madness in the novel, this essay refers to one of the most important studies of insanity in the western culture, Madness and Civilization by Foucault, which examines how insane people were labeled through different eras from the Middle Ages to the modern times, and what contextual and social features were involved in considering one as mad. This essay aims to explore the characteristics of four minor figures; Elijah, Gabriel, Pip, and Fedallah in Moby-Dick, in order to unravel the idea behind calling or considering these characters as mad men. In other words, I seek to answer whether they are in fact mentally ill, or if there might be other reasons for them to be labelled as mad. Through studying these characters, this paper would extract a pattern from the text of Moby-Dick, which happens to echo with Michel Foucault’s views toward madness.


Sepehr Karimi

English Literature M.A Student, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran