Pip's Oceanic Voice: Speech and the Sea in Moby-Dick

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This article explores the relationship between voice and the sea in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, focusing in particular on the role played by Pip, a character who falls into the ocean and seemingly goes mad. Reading Pip through critical frameworks offered by recent work in Oceanic Studies, I argue that Pip's speech-acts symbolically echo the fluidity and instability of the non-human oceanic depths. Further, by giving voice to that which is otherwise rendered silent by his shipmates, Pip challenges both the linguistic authority of the human crew of the Pequod and Ahab's tyrannical hegemony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-584
Number of pages18
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2017


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