THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: MOBY-DICK AND CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
James Noel, Ph.D.
August 7th 2018/ 7-8:30pm/ FREE
San Francisco Maritime Research Center, Fort Mason Center BLDG E.
Numerous critics have noted the ways that Moby-Dick provides insight into community and American life. The diverse crew aboard the Pequod is a fundamental starting place for scholars, and readers alike, to arrive at such an observation. For instance, one might perceive the hierarchical structure aboard the whaleship to reflect race relations in America during the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, the diversity of the crew is not confined to adult life, as one of the crew’s most significant characters is a young cabin boy named Pip. Though readers might feel that the Pequod is no place for a child, Pip’s presence aboard the whaler means that readers must deal with the ways that Ahab’s monomaniacal and catastrophic pursuit of a Leviathan could impact a child. Building on existing scholarship, this lecture will explore the matter of early trauma in Moby-Dick.