In Judeo-Christian stories, the belly of the whale is often used to represent Hell, and the whale’s jaws as Hell’s gates. The image of the mighty whale is connected with the terrifying biblical sea monster, Leviathan.  The ‘big fish’ that swallowed the sinner Jonah is commonly interpreted to be a whale, which also connects the image of the whale with the idea of rebirth.  God’s awesome power and his willingness to forgive are united in the story of Jonah:  God calls up a storm and commands the most frightening creature of the sea: the whale vomits Jonah safely onto the beach, reinvigorating his faith and obedience.  In ancient Islamic folktales, Jonah’s whale is one of only ten animals allowed into Heaven.

Genesis 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

La literatura de ficción la inventó Jonás cuando convenció a su mujer de que había vuelto a casa con tres días de retraso porque se lo había tragado una ballena.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

That instant, as he fell on the whale’s slippery back, the boat righted, and was dashed aside by the swell, while Radney was tossed over into the sea, on the other flank of the whale. He struck out through the spray, and, for an instant, was dimly seen through that veil, wildly seeking to remove himself from the eye of Moby Dick. But the whale rushed round in a sudden maelstrom; seized the swimmer between his jaws; and rearing high up with him, plunged headlong again, and went down.

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick;

Plaignez, plaignez la baleine
Qui nage sans perdre halein
Et qui nourrit ses petit
De lait froid sans garantie.
Oui mais, petit appétit,
La baleine fait son nid
Dans le fond des océans
Pour ses nourrissons géants
Au milieu des coquillages
Elle dort sous les sillages
Des bateaux, des paquebots


Quand ton sein, ô Madeleine, Sort du corset de baleine, Libre enfin du velours noir…. Victor Hugo