The Hunt That Came First: Moby Dick: Background information when reading And The Ocean Was Our Sky

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And The Ocean Was Our Sky

by Patrick Ness

And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness X
And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 160 pages

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Michelle Anya Anjirbag
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The Hunt That Came First: Moby Dick

This article relates to And The Ocean Was Our Sky

Illustration from Moby DickAnd the Ocean Was Our Sky is a re-imagining of Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Ness's text is a very experimental adaptation of Melville's, and one need not know Melville's text to understand it. However, some background on this American classic – recognized widely as a Great American Novel – may well serve to add further depths and context to Ness's contemporary story.

Look at any meme, mug, poster, or listicle that purports to include the most famous opening lines in literature, and "Call me Ishmael" is sure to be on it. Ishmael narrates a tale about his time on a whaling ship, the Pequod, during Captain Ahab's quest to destroy Moby Dick – the whale who took his leg. Ahab's desperate pursuit of vengeance, despite the prophesy that anyone who pursued Moby Dick would be destroyed, descends into madness and quite literally destroys his crew: he kills three of his harpooners to baptize a new harpoon with which to kill the whale, sailors drown, ...

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