text "Ignorance is the parent of fear."

Herman Melville, “Ignorance is the parent of fear”

With this “Ignorance is the parent of fear” design, we celebrate Herman Melville, Moby Dick, and support the elimination of ignorance and fear from our world. Get a shirt for yourself, your friends, and your loved ones. And share this sentiment with the world. And all the while, you will also be showing your love for Melville, Moby Dick, and great literature.

Moby Dick rises to the top of most people’s list of the greatest novels of all time. And part of what makes the book so compelling is the many themes that one can find in Herman Melville’s masterpiece. But one of the clearest points that Melville makes in Moby Dick is that knowledge, experience, and understanding banish prejudice and anxiety. Melville actually puts this idea into a pithy quote, “ignorance is the parent of fear,” at the critical early meeting of Ishmael and the South Sea harpooner, Queequeg, at the unforgettable Spouter Inn. 

Herman Melville only spent six years of his life at sea. But he packed a tremendous amount of experience in those years. He sailed aboard a series of vessels, including the merchant ship St. Lawrence; the whalers Acushnet, Lucy Ann, and Charles & Henry, and US Navy frigate United States. He would draw on these experiences repeatedly in his writing, including, of course, in Moby Dick.