Personal Essay: “The Sea”

In the very first pages of Moby-Dick, Melville, through the character of Ishmael notes how men seem mysteriously drawn to the sea:

“…Nothing will content them but the extremest (sic) limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in.”

Whether this is really true of all men, though the popularity of seaside resorts and vacation trips to countries known for their beaches seem to indicate so, it is a pull I am all too personally familiar with. Because for many a summer during my childhood, the sea was my one escape from the grey concrete of the suburban environments I grew up in.

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