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Moby-Dick - Reread > Chapter 22 through 34

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message 1: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Chapter 22. Merry Christmas
The ship finally departs, on a cold Christmas day. Am I soft, or shouldn't they take the holiday and ship out the next day? Capt. Bildad and Capt. Peleg do all of the ordering about as the ship is piloted out of the harbor and into the open sea and Capt. Peleg gives Ishmael his first kick in the pants. Ishmael is curious and warmed to see Bildad and Peleg a bit teary eyed and reluctant to finally disembark. Ahab remains out of sight in his cabin.

Chapter 23
Bulkington, who's "feet seem to be burned by the land" heads out to sea immediately after returning from a 4 year voyage and Ishmael compares him to ship running against the wind away from the Lee side.
But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!
What is being compared and contrasted here? The lee shore, against the wind, Freedom? Safety? Landlessness? Truth?


message 2: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Chapter 24. The Advocate
Ishmael champions the whaling industry and the whalemen who work in it. What do you think is his most impressive argument or claim?

I think it is the most strongly Melville makes his own voice heard when Ishmael says.
And, as for me, if, by any possibility, there be any as yet undiscovered prime thing in me; if I shall ever deserve any real repute in that small but high hushed world which I might not be unreasonably ambitious of; if hereafter I shall do anything that, upon the whole, a man might rather have done than to have left undone; if, at my death, my executors, or more properly my creditors, find any precious MSS. in my desk, then here I prospectively ascribe all the honour and the glory to whaling; for a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.
Chapter 25. Postscript
America's grandest jokes come at the expense of monarchies.
The curious process of seasoning kings for their functions. . .
A kings head is oiled like a salad.
Can it be they anoint them with oil to make them run well?


message 3: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Chapter 26. Knights and Squires
A character sketch of the Chief mate of the Pequod and namesake of the coffee company. Starbuck is a Nantucket Quaker. Thin and enduring he is physically well suited for his work. We are also told he has an uncommon conscientiousness, for a seaman, and a tendency toward and intelligently derived superstition. Are these flaws? He seems to have an Aristotelian outlook on courage in his unwillingness to work with men who are not afraid of whales. Starbuck, it seems, avoids all unnecessary risk.
For, thought Starbuck, I am here in this critical ocean to kill whales for my living, and not to be killed by them for theirs; and that hundreds of men had been so killed Starbuck well knew. What doom was his own father's? Where, in the bottomless deeps, could he find the torn limbs of his brother?
What is all the descriptions of democracy, democratic God, and democratic dignity about?

Chatper 27. Knights and Squires
Stubb, the second mate is a Cape-Cod-man and is described as good-humored, easy, and careless. He seems to live only in the moment and Ishmael thinks that even death is something to deal with once it happens, and no sooner. Ishmael suggests that Stubb's ever present pipe was the reason for his character, with the smoke acting as a buffer against cares, like medicated cloths held over the mouth protected against cholera.

Flask, the third mate is from Martha's Vineyard and just wants to fight and kill as many whales as possible and thinking very little if at all about them and created an ignorant, unconscious fearlessness towards whales. His nickname of "King-Post" seems to imply he could be counted on for support in dangerous times.

Do you think Starbuck would want the second or third mate in his boat?

Then come the Harpooners. Queequeg was Starbuck's harpooner. Thashtego, a native Gay-Head Indian from Martha's Vineyard was Stubb's harpooner. The giant African, Daggoo, is Flask's harpooner.

Ishmael then informs us of the general makeup of the rest of the crew and like other industries:
in all these cases the native American liberally provides the brains, the rest of the world as generously supplying the muscles.
And Pip.


message 4: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Chapter 28. Ahab
As the weather warms, Ahab finally makes his appearance. After waiting for 28 chapters for Ahab, what are your first impressions?


message 5: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Chapter 29. Enter Ahab; to him, Stubb
Ahab is now spending more time out of his cabin than in. Out of respect for sleeping men, Ahab usually refrains from walking the quarterdeck, but one evening he paces the ship and Stubb, attempts to inject a little good humor into his suggestion of muffling the noise. Ahab puts him in his place and tells him,
But go thy ways; I had forgot. Below to thy nightly grave; where such as ye sleep between shrouds, to use ye to the filling one at last.—Down, dog, and kennel!"
Stubb protests being called a dog but backs down after Ahab responds with:
"Then be called ten times a donkey, and a mule, and an ass, and begone, or I'll clear the world of thee!"
In his frustration over the encounter with Ahab, Stubb wonders about Ahab's nightly visits to the hold, decides Ahab is sneaking naps there, and decides to go to sleep himself and seen how things are in the morning. Why would Ahab sneak naps in the hold?

Chapter 30. The Pipe
After his encounter with Stubb, who is constantly with his own pipe, Ahab decides his pipe no longer soothes him, and wonders what business he has with the sereneness that comes from smoking it and tosses it into the sea. What is Ahab really forsaking here?

Chapter 31. Queen Maab
Queen Mab: A fairy in English folklore. In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, she is said to ride a tiny chariot across men's noses as they sleep and promote men's dreams.

The next morning Stubb tells Flask of his dream inspired by his encounter with Ahab. What is the significance of Stubb kicking an Ahab turned pyramid in his dream? Stubb finally concludes that being kicked by Ahab was a small thing, indeed he reasons it is an honor to by kicked by such a great man imparting wisdom. This reminds me of Father Mapple telling his shipmates to be grateful for consequences of sin. Did Stubb sin?

Ahab is then heard giving a strange command to be on the lookout for a white whale.


message 6: by David (last edited Jul 24, 2018 04:51PM) (new)

David | 2679 comments Chapter 32: Cetology
How do we make sense of this chapter? Is it wholly expository or is there something deeper here? Is this an example of art imitating life, all messy and unfinished? What about that last pararagraph?

We are given a few more aphorisms and this one stuck out to me:
For we are all killers, on land and on sea; Bonapartes and Sharks included.
Chapter 33. The Specksnyder.
We are given some history of rank and position on board whale ships. How are things different on the Pequod under Ahab?

Chapter 34. The Cabin-Table
The protocol for meals is revealed to be a rather formal, yet unspoken and quiet affair, at least for the captain and the mates. Poor Flask, the "butterless man!". The harpooner's meal afterwards is a somewhat different and chaotic affair. Ahab we are told lives apart, even on this close-knit ship
socially, Ahab was inaccessible. Though nominally included in the census of Christendom, he was still an alien to it. He lived in the world, as the last of the Grisly Bears lived in settled Missouri.



message 7: by Xan (last edited Jul 25, 2018 07:30AM) (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Chapter 22

Ahab's still a little under the weather? Haha. I think Melville is having a little fun with that. I would think the crew would be getting a little bit antsy between the rumors (he's addle-brained), the facts (his leg), and the 1 - 2 year voyage with a captain still not recovered from his injury. Yet no one questions it.

Chapter 23

Apotheosis can mean a transcendence to divine status, a rebirth into something more divine.

Since these sailors spend so much time on the uncontrollable and, at times, violent sea, the sea can be considered a God with the power of life and death over them -- Poseidon (Neptune). But it can also be a foe to confront, to defy, to combat, and to be victorious over. The victory leads to a transcendence, a rebirth, at least that's what Joseph Campbell says of the hero. Sounds nice.

Just a guess.


message 8: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Chapter 24

Well that was interesting. A wonderful history lesson.

Ishmael knows an awful lot about whaling history for someone who's never done it before.

Chapter 25

I guess Mousse in the hair wasn't the best idea for a guy back then.

And why is this a postscript?

Just asking.


message 9: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catjackson) David wrote: "Chapter 22. Merry Christmas
The ship finally departs, on a cold Christmas day. Am I soft, or shouldn't they take the holiday and ship out the next day? Capt. Bildad and Capt. Peleg do all of the or..."


I was also wondering why they would ship out on Christmas Day, especially with all the discussions of Christian faith. Except that some are described as Quaker and I think there were (maybe are?) some Quakers who don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Does anyone know more about this?


message 10: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Chapter 23

I see Bulkington's desire to head out to sea as an attempt to escape the problems that beset him on land.

The sea represents a sort of hiatus, a neither here nor there intermediate phase. Granted, it presents its own set of problems, but they are immediate, practical, mechanical. The mariner knows what needs to be done on a boat and he does it in sort of automatic way--without too much thought.

In some ways, these problems maybe easier to deal with than the problems we face on land because there is little emotional investment in making sure all the bits and pieces of the boat are functioning properly.

I'm not sure this makes any sense but I compare a mariner on a boat with a truck driver. They both operate machines, which is easier than dealing with people. And they're in between places on the open road/sea, neither here nor there, and that must bring with it a sense of liberation.

In the interest of full disclosure, I get very sea sick on boats. But in my next life, I plan on being a truck driver :)


message 11: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Chapter 23

Apotheosis can mean a transcendence to divine status, a rebirth into something more divine.

Since these sailors spend so much time on the uncontrollable and, at times, violent sea, the sea can be considered a God with the power of life and death over them -- Poseidon (Neptune). But it can also be a foe to confront, to defy, to combat, and to be victorious over. The victory leads to a transcendence, a rebirth, at least that's what Joseph Campbell says of the hero. Sounds nice..."


And to pick up on this--water is associated with rebirth because we are cushioned by water in the womb and when we emerge from water, we are born/reborn.

In the literature of the Romantic period, water is also associated with the imagination and the subconscious. We have to dive into the world of the imagination, free our minds of the "mind-forg'd manacles" in the words of William Blake, to arrive at transcendence.


message 12: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Catherine wrote: "Except that some are described as Quaker and I think there were (maybe are?) some Quakers who don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Does anyone know more about this? .."

According to the BBC website on Christianity, Quakers do not celebrate Christmas.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religio...


message 13: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Tamara wrote: "And to pick up on this--water is associated with rebirth because we are cushioned by water in the womb and when we emerge from water, we are born/reborn. ..."

Baptism??


message 14: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catjackson) Tamara wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Except that some are described as Quaker and I think there were (maybe are?) some Quakers who don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Does anyone know more about this? ...."

Thank you, Tamara. Then I guess it wouldn't have bothered them that they leave on Christmas Day.


message 15: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Catherine wrote: "Thank you, Tamara. Then I guess it wouldn't have bothered them that they leave on Christmas Day...."

But was the crew? I wonder if this isn't Melville's way of showing the reader just how lonely (and possibly family adverse) whaling was?


message 16: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Tamara wrote: "And to pick up on this--water is associated with rebirth because we are cushioned by water in the womb and when we emerge from water, we are born/reborn. ..."

Baptism??"


I would say so but not only in the Christian sense. In many world cultures, emergence from water signifies rebirth/renewal.


message 17: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Tamara wrote: "Baptism??"

I would say so but not only in the Christian sense. In many world cultures, emergence from water signifies rebirth/renewal......"


Gotcha. Thanks.


message 18: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments I loved this in Chapter 29:

Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death.

I guess that explains why I sometimes have trouble sleeping at night :)


message 19: by Dave (last edited Jul 25, 2018 01:14PM) (new)

Dave Redford | 145 comments David wrote: "Chapter 26. Knights and Squires ... What is all the descriptions of democracy, democratic God, and democratic dignity about?"

I'm in awe of Melville's writing in those final paragraphs of chapter 26. For me, there's something quintessentially American in his emphasis on democracy and equality, in his ability to see "high qualities", "ethereal light" and "tragic graces" in the common man and the "meanest mariner".

By referencing an Englishman (Bunyan), Spaniard (Cervantes) and an American (Andrew Jackson), Melville also seems to be making a wider point about how genius and heroism is not the sole reserve of knights and squires. That said, the link between the three figures cited isn't entirely clear to me – all were from fairly humble backgrounds, "champions from the kingly commons", but I wonder if there's something deeper that unites them in Melville's mind?


message 20: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Chapter 25. . .And why is this a postscript?."

Just a final justification for whaling to go with the others advocated in the previous chapter. Although instead of "postscript", it could have been titled "punchline".


message 21: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Bunyan is famous for The Pilgrim's Progress, a Christian allegory about a man's pilgrimage through life in search of salvation. Cervantes' Don Quixote is about a man's quest for the ideal.

How about this . . .

They have in common the notion of a journey/a quest, which is what the mariners on the Pequod are about. Ahab is on a quest for the white whale. His men are on a quest to kill whales, but some are on an additional quest for goals more elusive than that.

I have no idea how Andrew Jackson would fit into this.


message 22: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments I must be soft as well because I also wondered about sailing on Xmas Day considering the length of time they would be gone.

Okay if their family was aboard but not all would be so fortunate surely.


message 23: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments Are copies of Watts like Gideon's Bibles by any chance?


message 24: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments "in getting under weigh" - is that correct?

I would have thought getting "under way" the correct term.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 304 comments Cphe wrote: ""in getting under weigh" - is that correct?

I would have thought getting "under way" the correct term."


I believe it's weighed anchor--the anchor is up. When you get to land, it's anchors aweigh...drop anchor. I could be wrong--seems like that's what I've heard before though.


message 26: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments under weigh
The original expression for getting a boat moving has nothing to do with weighing anchor and is “getting under way,” but so many sophisticated writers get this wrong that you’re not likely to get into trouble if you imitate them.


https://brians.wsu.edu/2016/05/19/und...

But I like the "under weigh" explanation better.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 304 comments Re: The final paragraph of 26: Bunyan, Cervantes, Jackson.

I think what Ishmael is trying to get at here is that the characters of his story are not traditional heroes--they are the "meanest mariners, and renegades and castaways." I believe he is trying to convince the reader that even these sorts of people can have qualities of the hero--his examples are Bunyan the convict, Cervantes the cripple, and Jackson (of the common people), who were all used by "The great democratic god'', who "ever cullest Thy selectest champions from the kingly commons." Like them, the Starbucks, the Stubbs, et al can be used by God to illustrate the highest graces.


message 28: by David (last edited Jul 26, 2018 09:14AM) (new)

David | 2679 comments Tamara wrote: "Chapter 23
I see Bulkington's desire to head out to sea as an attempt to escape the problems that beset him on land."


Maybe I was trying to read too much into this. The port is described as gladly giving help, being pityful (sympathetic?), a safe and comfortable place with a fireplace, food, warm blankets, friends and other ammenities helpful to our survival. These do not sound like problems one would want to escape from.

However, If gales are analogous to problems at home, then it makes sense that in a storm the port and the lee shore become dangerous because the wind would drive the ship to crash against it and the ship is forced to avoid all hospitality. But isn't it also a problem to be on a ship at sea in a storm? I guess it depends on the storm.

But I am not sure how the next passage fits the "problem analogy:
Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
But as in landlessness alone resides the highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land!
This seem to state the reason (deep, earnest thinking) is the way to find truth as well as freedom from the bonds of unchecked passion. It also Reminds me of another quote of one who braved a storm:
Throughout the lands lay miserably crushed [slavish shore, wormlike, craven crawl to land]
Before all eyes beneath Religion- who
Would show her head along the region skies,
Glowering on mortals with her hideous face-
A Greek it was who first opposing dared
Raise mortal eyes that terror to withstand,
Whom nor the fame of Gods nor lightning's stroke
Nor threatening thunder of the ominous sky
[storm]
Abashed; but rather chafed to angry zest
His dauntless heart to be the first to rend
The crossbars at the gates of Nature old.
And thus his will and hardy wisdom won; [highest truth]
And forward thus he fared afar, beyond
The flaming ramparts of the world, until
He wandered the unmeasurable
[open independence/sea/landless howling infinite]
Lucretius, De Rerum Natura



message 29: by David (last edited Jul 25, 2018 03:27PM) (new)

David | 2679 comments Cphe wrote: "Are copies of Watts like Gideon's Bibles by any chance?"

Watts: a book of hymns by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), considered the father of English hymn-writing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_W...


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 304 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "under weigh
The original expression for getting a boat moving has nothing to do with weighing anchor and is “getting under way,” but so many sophisticated writers get this wrong that you’re not lik..."


So it is supposed to be under way?


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Slater (yohanan) | 619 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "under weigh
The original expression for getting a boat moving has nothing to do with weighing anchor and is “getting under way,” but so many sophisticated writers get this wrong that you’re not lik..."


Comparing my Oxford Dictionary app with the on-line Unabridged Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I found some agreement that, while the correct phrase indeed should be "under way," the form "under weigh" goes back to the eighteenth century in nautical use, and appears to result from confusion (or conflation) with "weigh anchor," in which "weigh" has the otherwise obsolete meaning of "heave" or "hoist."

From the same sources, "aweigh" in regards to anchors dates to the early seventeenth century, and properly referred to an anchor "raised just clear of the seabed." In modern usage, it is just taking up the anchor "when ready to start sailing." (The prefixed a- equals "on," and "weigh" may be the expected verb of measure -- they seem to waffle on this.)

The "sophisticated writers" may be those who deferred to established nautical English, rather than pondering the histories of "weigh" and "way."

Sailors seem to have various beliefs about the "correct" meaning and use of words, some of which do not survive close scrutiny by trained lexicographers, and there is probably no point in arguing.

(As with lawyers, who have enshrined the errors of some linguistically-limited but opinionated predecessors in legal dictionaries, which try to make the English language conform to judicial quirks. I am informed that hardly anyone in the legal profession consults such dictionaries once through of the first round of law school -- which is probably just as well.)


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 304 comments A quick look for myself and 'under way' it is. Thanks Xan


message 33: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Bryan wrote: "Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "under weigh
The original expression for getting a boat moving has nothing to do with weighing anchor and is “getting under way,” but so many sophisticated writers get this..."


How badly do you hate splitting infinitives? :-)

I just posted that link because I thought it interesting. I'm for using it both ways in the same paragraph because I love ambiguity.

I like "under weigh" better. "Under way" sounds so . . . so . . . landlocked.


message 34: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments Bryan wrote: "Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "under weigh
The original expression for getting a boat moving has nothing to do with weighing anchor and is “getting under way,” but so many sophisticated writers get this..."



Oh dear,

Trust me to be contentious!

I wondered because it didn't "read right"/look right on the page if that makes any sense.


message 35: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments David wrote: "Cphe wrote: "Are copies of Watts like Gideon's Bibles by any chance?"

Watts: a book of hymns by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), considered the father of English hymn-writing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wik..."



Okay, thanks.

I take it that Watt's hymns were used by other religions as well.


message 36: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments Cphe wrote: "Oh dear,

Trust me to be contentious!

I wondered because it didn't "read right"/look right on the page if that makes any sense...."


It does, and it turned out to be an interesting question. Sophisticated writers, indeed. There you have it, Melville, a sophisticated writer, using "under weigh."


message 37: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Cphe wrote: "Oh dear,

Trust me to be contentious!

I wondered because it didn't "read right"/look right on the page if that makes any sense...."

It does, and it turned out to be an interesting qu..."




Indeed


message 38: by Adelle (last edited Jul 25, 2018 08:14PM) (new)

Adelle | 127 comments At #1 David wrote: "Chapter 22. Merry Christmas
The ship finally departs, on a cold Christmas day...."


Well...Ishmael was thinking of the perils he and Queequeg would run, "in starting on the voyage with such a devil for a pilot"---referring to Captain Peleg. Wondering, will Captain Ahab be less of devil?

And I thought that might lend a perspective to their weighing anchor on Christmas Day---what one would think in Nantucket would be considered a holy day. So... Ahab is no respecter of holy days.

And, then, too, Christmas Day is pretty close to December 21st--- the shortest day of the year. Might be something a little ominous in that.

EDIT ADDED. Belie that Christmas theory, matie! It might be a holy day for much of America in 1850, but I just read Tamara's Quaker link. This though: "Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality."


message 39: by Adelle (last edited Jul 25, 2018 06:35PM) (new)

Adelle | 127 comments At #1 "Chapter 22. Merry Christmas"

..."Charity ... with her last gifts--- a night-cap for Stubb"

I kid you not. I was thinking, "Wait? She brought him a cocktail?"
I had to do a second take to realize it was a night-cap for the head, not a drink.

Poor Bildad. So torn. Prayers/ money/ prayers/ money/ prayers/ money.

"God bless ye... / Don't stave the boats needlessly/ Don't forget your prayers, either./ Don't waste the spare staves./ Don't whale it too much a Lord's day /... but don't miss a fair chance either."


message 40: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Adelle wrote: "Poor Bildad. So torn. Prayers/ money/ prayers/ money/ prayers/ money."

Nice summary, Adelle. It made me laugh.


message 41: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments David wrote: "Chapter 28. Ahab
As the weather warms, Ahab finally makes his appearance. After waiting for 28 chapters for Ahab, what are your first impressions?"



Aloof and mysterious but strong as he doesn't let a disability impact on his way of life.


message 42: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 586 comments So does Q "out rank" Ishmael on board because of his skills?


message 43: by Xan (last edited Jul 26, 2018 05:39AM) (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments For when Stubb dressed, instead of first putting his legs into his trousers, he put his pipe into his mouth.

Wonderful line that leaves an image greater than its description. A Little bit Popeye! Does he have an anchor tattooed on his forearm?

Three White headmen, each accompanied by a harpooneer, one Indian, another Polynesian, and the last an African -- "as there generally subsists between the two a close intimacy and friendliness. Whaling was the 19th century U.N. (or melting pot).


message 44: by Xan (new)

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 386 comments David wrote: "Chapter 28. Ahab
As the weather warms, Ahab finally makes his appearance. After waiting for 28 chapters for Ahab, what are your first impressions?"


What I'm paying attention to are (1) the scar the old gray Manxman says is a birthmark that runs from crown to sole, (2) his white (ivory) replacement for a leg -- a whole quiver full -- and perhaps (3) the reference to him being like the a limb not touched by the fire.


message 45: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "What I'm paying attention to are. . ."

Ahab and his white mark standing on his white leg, hunting for a white whale. Hmm. . .


message 46: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catjackson) Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Thank you, Tamara. Then I guess it wouldn't have bothered them that they leave on Christmas Day...."

But was the crew? I wonder if this isn't Melville's way of showing the reader..."



Good thought.


message 47: by Chris (new)

Chris | 385 comments As far as sailing on Christmas Day, I thought it was odd when first reading that, but then when the description of various crew members came about most were not of the religious persuasion that would celebrate Christmas.

in Chap 25. use of the hair-oil. "that man has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere."" Quoggy? Definition anyone?

OK, is this character of Starbuck where STARBUCKS get's it name? And if so, what is the connection?


message 48: by David (new)

David | 2679 comments Chris wrote: "As far as sailing on Christmas Day, I thought it was odd when first reading that, but then when the description of various crew members came about most were not of the religious persuasion that wou..."

Quoggy: Mushy or soft.
http://www.powermobydick.com/Moby025....

See the background discussion for links concerning the connection between Starbuck of Moby-Dick and Starbucks coffee.
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 49: by Adelle (last edited Jul 27, 2018 01:41PM) (new)

Adelle | 127 comments At #1 "Chapter 23, The Lee Shore..."

For such a short chapter, what a struggle. I read and re-read.

Why is Bulkington there? Why is he in the book? How has he advanced the narrative? I don't know. My only clue: "Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land." Again, I don't know.

The Lee Shore. ?? One wants to believe that if one can see land, there safety would lie. Is comfort and safety what we want or should want more from life? "For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land!"

" all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea, while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore"


message 50: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 127 comments At #2 David wrote: "Chapter 24. The Advocate
Ishmael champions the whaling industry and the whalemen who work in it. What do you think is his most impressive argument or claim?"


Practical proof of the indispensability of the whaling industry.

"...the world...does unwittingly pay us the profoundest homage; yea, an all-abounding adoration! for almost all the tapers, lamps, and candles that burn round the globe, burn, as so many shrines, to our glory!"

And he highlights that America is at the forefront. "...we whalemen of America now outnumber all the rest of the banded whalemen in the world"


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