Ahab vs. Sun; House vs. God: Life without Pain

This article examines the similarities shared by two characters with disabilities: Doctor House, the main character of a popular television series House M.D. and Ahab in Moby Dick. Although Moby Dick was written in the 19th century, it can still be studied from various perspectives, which makes it a valuable source to unroll the human psyche. In this respect, pain can be considered the source of obsession. Pain is taken as the major reason turning these two characters into pessimist, arrogant, and skeptical humans. One of the main similarities shared by the show House M.D. and the novel Moby Dick is a medical enigma called “phantom limb pain”. This medical enigma makes people feel their lost limbs; eventually affects and changes who they really are. Both Ahab and Murphy, one of the characters in the show House M.D., have suffered from phantom sensations since traumatic amputations. While Doctor House does not suffer from phantom limb pain, his acute limb pain reshapes his personality traits. In the absence of the everlasting feeling of pain, these characters could be entirely different. We can see this change not in Ahab’s personality but in House’s. In the episodes without House’s pain, he turns into a different person. Ahab and House are brilliant, arrogant, and excluded characters. Their obsessive personalities connect them. This article reveals that Doctor House has similar characteristics with another renowned character except Sherlock Holmes.


Moby Dick, Ahab, House M.D., Doctor House, Phantom Limb Pain, Disability

Author : Alper TULGAR
Number of pages: 1573-1586
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29228/TurkishStudies.22842
Full text:
Turkish Studies - Language and Literature
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