The Whale: Bulk Delivery - Page 1 - Theater - New York - Village Voice:
'via Blog this'
Proving yet again that if all you do is say "whale" that "Moby Dick" will soon follow...
Some play about a fat man...and you know how we always call fat people whales...
"Charlie has been slowly eating himself to death for a dozen years, like a self-swallowing Jonah, or an Ahab who is the target of his own vengeance. "
Apparently to add the subliminal whale symbolism, or maybe the Ahab obsession complex (I really don't know myself, I'm guessing--haven't seen it), the main character also has an obsession: "An eighth grader's essay on Melville's Moby-Dick, or the Whale is one of Charlie's pet preoccupations. And another theme that has shaped his life turns out to be the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale, on which Melville's hero, Ishmael, hears a sermon early in the novel."
It must go even deeper because look at this analogy: "Into this vortex of unspoken tensions, a young Mormon missionary, who calls himself Elder Thomas (Cory Michael Smith), wanders, as unsuspectingly as Ishmael wandered into Father Mapple's chapel."
Fat guy is his own Moby Dick. Kind of interesting--and again, probably loads more interesting than Melville's novel itself, specifically for story structure.