Vol 8 No 1 (2016)

REBT Principles and Captain Ahab

Mark Sidney Joseph Auger
Athabasca University
Published March 10, 2016


Albert Ellis’ Rational-Emotive-Behavior Therapy (REBT) is examined and explained. In REBT, focus is put on the individual’s belief system and how an irrational belief system can lead to unhealthy emotions resulting in self-defeating behavior. Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick is then analyzed through its protagonist Captain Ahab. The principles of REBT are related to Ahab’s character, showing how Ahab could have benefitted from establishing a rational belief system. In the end, it is Ahab’s irrational belief system that leads to his tragic death. Key words: Albert Ellis, REBT, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Captain Ahab, American History X