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  • From The Sperm Whale's Head

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever

"So long as a man's eyes are open in the light, the act of seeing is involuntary; that is, he cannot then help mechanically seeing whatever objects are before him."


Musing: What a great way to say that we can see, but still not SEE. Melville uses the "mechanical" word here as he often will. He worries that man is becoming too machine-like - too automated - too much alike. You really see that in his short fiction Bartleby the Scrivener, but he plays around with the idea throughout Moby Dick as well. Melville laments the disappearance of the true individual spirit as much as he criticizes the individual actions of a monomaniacal Ahab. Conflicted as we all are - that's my Melville.

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