Toru Nishiura

Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Katharine Rodier

Second Advisor

Dolores Johnson

Third Advisor

John Young


Many characters who have various personalities app ear in Herman Melville’s White-Jacket . However, few critics have comprehensively examined the action and the characteristics of them in detail. In this thesis, I explore Melville’s depiction of the battleship world in this novel by clarifying the narrator ’s standard to judge ot her characters. In White-Jacket, the whole story is narrated by White-Jacket; therefore, the characteristics of his narrative clarify the theme of this novel. I start with an analysis of his narrative and examine whether he is a reliable narrator or not. Then, I explore the relationship between the battleship world and the characters. Moreover, I analyze the inclination of the narrator ’s description of the other characters and confirm Melville’s attitude in the narrator ’s description. Specifically, I exaxine Jack Chase and Ushant who resist the evils of the battleship world and clarify Melville’s skeptic alassertion toward the U.S. Navy in those days.


Melville, Herman -- 1819-1891 -- Characters.

Melville, Herman -- 1819-1891 -- White-jacket; or, The world in a man-of-war -- Characters.