Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2012;13(3):57-72.
Published online December 30, 2012.
John Huston's Moby-Dick as educational material on American culture
Ok Rae Kim
영화 모비딕에 나타난 미국문화 연구
In this transnational and globalized modern world, the necessity of teaching intercultural competence for our students is increasing. For that purpose, I'd like to recommend John Huston's 1956 movie, Moby-Dick, based on Herman Melville's novel. One of the messages of this novel is the importance of multicultural understanding among people in order to emerge from such dark realities as slavery and the Indian Removal Policy which had come about under the name of Manifest Destiny, exploiting Christianity for the dominant political ideology. There have been several films of Moby-Dick. Among them Huston's is generally estimated as the best. Recently, ambitious young Korean artists have tried to deal with the main topic of Moby-Dick in their movies and musicals. The reason for this is that the novel shows us a right way in these first steps of a multicultural, multiracial Korean society. Consequently Huston's Moby-Dick can be used as effective cultural and educational material for our students. Melville's main point is that we must respect the culture of other races equally and get away from the white -dominant prejudice against colored people. He criticizes the Christianity of 19th century America for perverting its true role into political purposes. As an alternative, he suggests the Quakers, who showed open mindedness toward different cultures and religions. They also actively tried to solve social problems of the period such as slavery and to realize an intercultural open society.
Key Words: transnational;multicultural understanding;slavery;Indian Removal policy;Manifest Destiny;Quakers
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