This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

Recorded HS
Moby-Dick: Americans and the Hunt for God

Join this American Literature course on one of the greatest books of all time. Learn the author’s major themes, philosophies, and conclusions — and crack the code of this whale of a good story!

Total classes: 14

Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy the book as well as separate main points from many details.

Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade or advanced 10th grade

Suggested credit: One full semester American Literature or English


This tale of God-hating Ahab and relativistic Ishmael, of Fate versus Free-Will, and tyranny versus democracy is at the heart of our present experience as Americans. America’s greatest book was described by one contemporary reviewer as a cracking good whaling tale interrupted by too many digressions on philosophy. Not a bad description, except that the chapters on philosophy and theology are some of the main objects of Melville’s exciting work. In this course, your student will read through all of the books, and the focus of our class time and testing will be on the chapters that best establish Melville’s many themes and conclusions. That way, the student will not feel hopelessly at sea in the details of this wonderful and clear-headed book.



Week 1: The Air He Breathed: Melville’s world.

Week 2: Etymology—Chapter 4

Week 3: Ch. 5-14

Week 4: Ch. 15-22

Week 5: Ch. 23-32

Week 6: Ch. 33-41

Week 7: Ch. 42-48

Week 8: Ch. 49-55

Week 9: Ch. 56-70

Week 10: Ch. 71-81

Week 11: Ch. 82-93

Week 12: Ch. 94-110

Week 13: Ch. 111-128

Week 14: Ch. 129-Epilogue

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: Herman Melville. Moby-Dick. Norton Critical Edition. There are three editions of this. Any of them will work for this course. Current ISBN: 0393285006.

Homework: There will be about 36 pages of novel reading per week. Moby Dick consists mostly of short chapters. There will be weekly computer-graded quizzes, a midterm, and a final. An hour and a half of reading per week should be average.

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