Literature in English, North America


As arguably one of the most famous literary works produced by any American writer (often deemed as the great American novel), Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick and its genetic history have been subjects of extensive scholarship over the last seventy years. Every aspect of Melville’s personal life, his considerable creative and personal hardships, as well as the influences which brought forth such an enigmatic and uniquely devised novel, have been all deeply explored and hotly debated. Melville's friendship and admiration of Nathaniel Hawthorne is widely believed among scholars to be a major influence and catalyst which fueled Melville's decision to depart from his original conception of Moby-Dick as an adventure novel (such as his earlier successful novels, Typee, Redburn and White Jacket), to a major creative and philosophical undertaking. On the heels of Harrison Hayford’s groundbreaking exploration of the genetic history of Moby-Dick in his essay “Unnecessary Duplicates,” I will explore the late addition of Queequeg as Ishmael’s “bosom” friend in the opening “shore chapters” of the novel as it mirrors the Hawthorne/Melville friendship, and how their relationship influenced Melville's revision of Moby-Dick.

Abstract Format




Faculty Mentor

Dr. Steven Olsen-Smith