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Terms in this set (241)
What reason does Ishmael give for going to sea?
It is a way to make him happy when he becomes depressed and suicidal.
Name three positions that Ishmael does not want to occupy on a ship.
- captain (or commodore, a position /w captain and admiral)
Why does Ishmael go to sea as a sailor rather than as a passenger?
A sailor is paid for being on the ship, while a passenger pays for being on the ship.
He also gets exercise and fresh air, and he does not mind being ordered around since everybody already is ordered around in life.
What is Ishmael's profession when he is not at sea?
What is the name of the first city in which Ishmael is looking for logging?
What is the name of the inn that Ishmael eventually settles into?
The Spouter Inn
Why does Ishmael leave "The Trap"
It turns out to be a black church.
One of the first things Ishmael notices upon entering the inn is a painting. What does it depict?
the Cape-Horner ship at sea with a whale
What is a Cape Horn measure?
a shilling's worth of alcohol
What is the first piece of information that Ishmael learns about his bedmate?
- eats steak cooked rare
- never eats dumplings
Who is the first member of the Grampus's crew that Ishmael sees? Describe him.
- does not like to drink much alcohol
- brawny, 6-ft tall, defined chest + shoulders, good posture
- face burnt with deep brown color
Where is Queequeg while Ishmael decides whether or not to share the bed?
He is out in the city seling embalmed heads from New Zealand.
What finally decides the issue of where Ishmael will sleep?
He sees that sleeping on the bench will be uncomfortable, so he decides that sleeping with Queequeg shouldn't be too bad.
What about Queequeg's appearance does Ishmael find disturbing?
- dark, purplish-yellow complexion of his face
- black, square tattoos on his cheeks (Ishmael had heard of cannibals capturing whalemen and giving them the same tattoos)
After undressing, why does Queequeg draw a tomahawk from his bag?
He uses it as a cigarette while he is sleeping.
What does Ishmael find odd about Queequeg's dressing habits?
He puts his boots on under the bed, as if needing privacy, but he changes his pants out in the open.
How is Ishmael able to guess at how long each man in the common room has been ashore?
He can tell by how dark or light each person's skin is. The darker the skin, the longer he has been in the sun and, therefore, the longer he has been out at sea.
What surprises Ishmael about breakfast at the inn?
All of the men sitting at the table are quiet and seem embarrassed.
What reason does Ishmael give for New Bedford's prosperity?
the whalemen and the whaling industry
What is the focus of attention in the church as ishmael enters? What do these objects have in common?
three marble tablets to the side of the pulpit
- they are all memorials to people who have died at sea
Why does the congregation so highly regard Father Mapple?
He was a sailor and a harpooner before he became a priest.
Before the sermon begins, to what does Ishmael compare the pulpit?
a ship's bow
What biblical story does Father Mapple use as a basis for his sermon?
Jonah and the whale
What, according to Father Mapple, constitutes of true repentance?
To be truly repentant, one must not be desperate to end the punishment that is given but instead understand that the punishment is just.
What foreshadowing does Father Mapple use?
He stands silent for a moment, as if he is "communing with God", foreshadowing the powerful statement he will make about preaching the truth fearlessly.
What is Queequeg doing when Ishmael returns from the church?
He is sitting on a bench in the lobby next to the fireplace, carving at the nose of his idol with his knife.
To whom does Ishmael compare Queequeg as he studies Queequeg's head?
Why does Ishmael finally decide to befriend Queequeg?
Queequeg's indifference and introverted personality reflects someone who is content with himself and does not need the praise of others. Even in a city where he is not like everyone else, he is happy with himself. With his indifference towards other people and high-self esteem, he must be immune from fake friendship ("civilized hypocrisies and bland deceits"). He thinks, "I'll try a pagan friend . . . since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy" (81).
On what logical basis does Ishmael join Queequeg's ritual?
According to Ishmael, to worship God is to do the will of God, and the will of God to do unto others and you would like them to do unto you. Therefore, if he joins Queequeg in his worshipping of the idol, then Queequeg will join him in his Christian worship.
(This logic is so cringey. Throughout the Bible, God makes it clear that he is a jealous God, and even the first commandment is to worship only God and not put idols before him. He is breaking the will of God by worshipping the idol.)
Why does Ishmael assert that "a sleeping apartment should never be furnished with a fire" (47)?
According to Ishmael, in order to truly enjoy the comfort of bodily warmth (as he enjoys between Queequeg and himself), there must something contrasting the comfort so as to completely appreciate the comfort being given to you. In this case, the contrasting element is the cold atmosphere of the room. With this, you can use bodily warmth to find comfort from the coldness. If the room was given a fire to emit heat, then you can longer find warmth comforting. If warmth is the basis for the environment, you would either just be indifferent to bodily heat or not be comforted by it at all. In this case, you would instead find coldness comforting, because you could use coldness to find comfort from the heat given off by the fire.
Where is Queequeg from?
Kokovoko, and island far southwest from New England (probably in the South Pacific?)
What is Queequeg's status among his people?
He has inherited a high noble status. His father is the king, his uncle is the high priest, and his aunts were married to famous conquerors.
Why was Queequeg so eager to leave the island? Why was he unsuccessful in his quest?
He wanted to see the rest of the Christian (Western) world and learn their customs.
He learned from the men on the ship he took that even Christians can be wicked and miserable (he was expecting the opposite). Seeing what the crew further did at Sag Harbor and Nantucket, he hopelessly realized that all of the world can be wicked.
Why had Queequeg stayed away from his homeland for so long?
He feels that the influence Christianity has had on him has made him unfit to take the throne of a pagan king.
Also, having been in New England for so long, he has become a whaler, and he sees whaling as his vocation instead of being king.
What is the name of the first boat that Ishmael and Queequeg board together?
What reward does Queequeg ask for his heroics on the ship?
fresh water to wash off the salt water
According to legend, how was Nantucket discovered?
An eagle snatched a native family's infant, and following the eagle to the island of present-day Nantucket, they only found his skeleton.
Who refers to Queequeg and Ishmael to the Try Pots? Why?
Peter Coffin (the landlord of the Spouter Inn)
It is one of the best-kept hotels in Nantucket, and the owner, Hosea Hussey (Peter's cousin) is famous for his chowder.
What premonitions does Ishmael have before entering the Try Pots?
the following seem to foreshadow a death:
- Coffin being the first name he heard in New Bedford
- the memorials in the church
- the gallow-looking entrance of the Try Pots
On what basis does Mrs. Hussey object to Queequeg's taking his harpoon to his room?
A man named Stiggs was once found dead in the lobby with a harpoon in his side.
What is the name of Queequeg's idol?
Why is the selection of the ship left to Ishmael?
Yogo supposedly told Queequeg that the selection should be left entirely to Ishmael.
Yogo also supposedly said that there is a particular ships that they should sail, and only Ishmael has the infallibility to choose the ship?
Who are Captains Peleg and Bildad?
They are the owners and agents of the Pequod.
What is the general impression of the Pequod?
It is a really old ship decorated heavily with a whaling theme.
What is Captain Peleg's response to Ishmael's credentials?
Ishmael says that he has had experience on a ship as a merchant. Peleg scoffs at how poor this qualification is.
What are the origins of the name "Pequod"?
It is name after the Native American Pequod tribe.
What is a lay?
shares of profits distributed to the men on a ship in accordance with the degree of importance of each person's position
What is Peleg's opinion of Ahab? What impression is given of Ahab?
He is very quiet, moody, and sometimes awkward, but he does have very strong convictions.
He is very likeable and well-respected. He has had much more experiences as a whale than anyone else.
Why does Ishmael avoid returning to the room after signing on the Pequod?
He does not want to disturb Queequeg's fasting ritual.
Why does Ishmael break the innkeeper's lock?
After trying to get Queequeg's attention from outside the locked room, he was afraid that he was unconscious or even dead.
Why is Queequeg allowed to crew for the Pequod?
Ishmael says that Queequeg is part of the same "worshipping world" that they are part of.
Why does Captain Peleg argue that Queequeg should be hired?
Queequeg proves his whaling skills by directly hitting a spot of tar in the ocean with his harpoon.
When Bildad argues that Queequeg is not Christian, Peleg remarks that a pagan would make for a wilder, and therefore better, harpooner.
What does Elijah say that injects an element of mystery into the story?
Elijah's attitude towards Captain Ahab is much more suspicious than that of Captains Peleg and Bildad. He warns that Captain Ahab acts very oddly, and there seems to be a weird side to his personality that we do not know yet.
Why does Elijah's name surprise Ishmael?
In the Bible, Elijah is a prophet who denounced King Ahab's wicked ways.
What does Ishmael do with the Elijah's advice?
He ignores it, seeing it as something to throw him off.
Who is Aunt Charity, and how did she get this name?
She is always finding an opportunity to lend a helping hand. Right now, she is working hard to prepare to Pequod.
Why does Ishmael accept Peleg and Bildad's excuses on behalf of the Captain?
He wants to cover up his suspicions of Captain Ahab.
Who, besides Ishmael and Queequeg, sees the five vanishing sailors board the ship?
Why does Ishmael object to Queequeg's taste in "furniture"?
On Queequeg's island, "furniture" is made from people of the lower classes.
Who assumes command on the ship while she leaves the harbor?
Who are the first, second, and third mates?
How does Ishmael explain Ahab's continued absence on deck?
A captain is always locked away in his cabin for most of the voyage.
What can be inferred from the last words of Chapter 22: "and blindly plunged like fate into the lone Atlantic ocean" (139).
Ishmael will face the conflict alone.
What is Bulkington's job aboard the ship?
What job does Ishmael most closely associate with the professional whaler?
a job in the military
What credits does Ishmael list in defense of whaling?
- the bubbler from whale is used in tapers, lamps, and candles
- whaling is very profitable: from 1750-88, British whalemen collected a profit of over 1 million pounds; today, American whalemen earn more than 7 million dollars
- medieval European kingdoms honored whaling and put much effort and money into
- whalers have been responsible for discovering and charting the unknown oceans and islands, making it safer for other people to sail in these place
- whalers were the first to make contact with the Americas without intent of colonization - this would help lead to the liberation of Spanish colonies and the rise of independent countries in the Americas
- while other people looked down upon Australia as barbarous after its discovery, whalemen helped develop it
- whaling helped develop commercial trade (as well as missionary travel) throughout Polynesia
What is Ishmael's final point in defense of the whaling industry?
The whaling industry supplies the unpolluted, unmanufactured sperm whale oil that is used for the coronation of kings and queens.
Why does Starbuck say, "I will have no man in my boat . . . who is not afraid of the whale" (149)?
Reliable courage comes from a fair estimation of the peril. If a person is not scared of the whale, then s/he may take risks that are too dangerous.
What makes Starbuck "as careful a man as you'll find anywhere in the fishery"?
Starbuck does not use courage to embark on perilous adventures. Rather, he uses it to protect himself when his life is threatened. To him, courage is a very helpful tool that should not be wasted on foolish pride.
How does Stubb compare to Starbuck in relating to the whales?
Whales are less intimidating to Stubb than they are to Starbuck, because:
- Starbuck believes in the "fair estimation of peril"
- Stubb is laid back
What does Ishmael speculate is the cause of Stubb's good humor?
How does Flask compare with Stubb and Starbuck concerning whales?
Flask is the complete opposite of Starbuck
- Flask has an aggressive fearlessness that clouds any fear or awe of whales
- he enjoys killing whales for fun
Both Flask and Stubb do not fear whales, but they have different attitudes towards them
- Stubb is laid back and indifferent towards whales
- Flask is aggressive and violent towards whales
Who are Tashtego and Daggoo? What is odd about the crew?
Tashtego is a Native American from Gay Head. He is Stubb's harpooner.
Daggo is an African American who keeps his pagan culture. He is Flask's harpooner.
Who is the harpooner for each mate?
Starbuck - Queequeg
Stubb - Tashtego
Flask - Daggoo
What is odd about the ethnicities of the crew?
Only about half of the crew consists of white Americans. Most are from the South Pacific.
What is Captain Ahab's most prominent facial feature? What caused it?
Tashtego says that it is a scar that he received at sea 40 years ago
What impression does Ishmael give to Ahab when he first comes aboard?
Ahab seems to be a mysterious person, but Ishmael's anxiety towards him lessens as he opens himself to the crew more and more.
What helps Ahab maintain his footing while on deck?
a pivot hole in the quarter-deck.
What, in Ishmael's opinion, brings Ahab out from the cabin?
As time passes on, the sky becomes less cloudy and gloomy, and the less cloudy it becomes, the more Ahab appears outside his cabin.
What prompts Stubb to approach Ahab? What is Ahab's reaction?
Ahab walking around on his pegged leg was causing noise and keeping Stubb awake, so he wanted to ask Ahab if he could quiet down.
Ahab insults him and orders him to return to his cabin.
What does Stubb decide about Ahab's outburst?
Although Stubb is angry about it, he sees it as just a part of Ahab's queer nature and decides to sleep on it.
Why does Ahab toss his pipe into the ocean?
He no longer finds pleasure in smoking.
Who does Stubb tell about his dream of Ahab?
What piece of wisdom does Stubb take from his dream?
Leave Ahab alone and never talk back to him.
What happens at the end of Chapter 31 (the chapter where Stubb talks about his dream)?
Captain Ahab spots whales in the ocean.
Why does Ishmael discount Captain Scoresby?
While Scoresby knew a lot about the right whale, he did not know anything about the sperm whale. He treats the right whale as a king od the sea, even though (according to Ishmael) the true king of the sea is the sperm whale.
According to Ishmael's system of classification, what type of animal is a whale?
Which whale is known as the "unicorn whale"?
What, according to Ishmael, is the "grand distinction" between officers and seamen?
The seamen sleep in cabins closer to the bow of the ship than the officers' cabins.
What makes the Specksynder different from the other officers on the ship?
He is the chief harpooner and is in charge of the whaling on the ship.
In what order do the officers report to Ahab's cabin for dinner?
Starbuck -> Stubb -> Flask
Why does Ishmael pity Flask when he is summoned to dinner?
Because Flask is the last officer to be served and the first to be dismissed, he does not get enough to eat.
What is Tashtego's way of speeding up the service at the harpooners' table
He throws a fork at Dough-Boy's back to make him hurry up.
Why does Ishmael consider Ahab's views on the use of his cabin typical?
Most American captains of whaling shaps see the cabins as theirs only.
What does it mean to "stand a masthead"?
to be on the lookout at the masthead
What about the Glacier separates it from other whaling ships?
The crow' nest on the Glacier is covered to protect from the outside elements
Why does Ishmael react as he does to the idea of a crow's nest?
Crow's nests induce pride in oneself more than they help one to spot whales.
What advice does Ishmael give to ship owners looking to hire sailors?
Be careful of who you are, because many young men become so comfortable with the environment of the crow's nest that they forget to look for whales.
What is meant by Stubb's remark about Ahab that "the chick that's in him pecks the shell. Twill soon be out" (199)?
Something is on Ahab's mind that will eventually be revealed to the crew.
What is the first question Ahab asks the assembled crew?
"What do ye do when ye see a whale, men?" (200)
What reward does Ahab offer to the man who spots the White Whale, and how does he advertise it?
a gold doubloon, worth $16
- he nails it to the main mast
Who, besides Ahab, has actually seen Moby Dick before Ahab told the crew about it?
Tashtego, Daggoo, and Queequeg
What is Starbuck's opinion of Ahab's quest?
Killing Moby Dick would be too dangerous, and it would interfere with and be a risk to their whaling business. They would waste too much time trying to kill Moby Dick, and they would lose profits.
How is the theme of good versus evil emphasized in the novel?
- Ahab is good and Moby Dick is evil (Ahab is taking revenge against an evil whale)
- Moby Dick is good and Ahab is evil (Moby Dick is simply a part of nature, and Ahab is evil for wanting to kill something so innocent)
Explain the depths of Ahab's revulsion for the White Whale and anything that opposes him.
He says that he will "chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give up" (202). He does not care how far he will have to go to kill Moby Dick.
What is Ahab's response to Starbuck's opposition to his quest?
Ahab needs to kill Moby Dick to keep his own sanity. He cannot let such a strong and monstrous animal overpower him; he cannot be seen as being lesser than anything.
He also compares the whale to a "pasteboard mask". According to Ahab, everything in the world is a mask, and whatever is behind it manifests itself as that mask. To him, the mask is Moby Dick, and behind it is everything evil in the world. Essentially, a monomania has consumed Ahab, and he must kill Moby Dick to satisfy it.
Who thinks drinks from what in the toast that ends Chapter 36?
What element appears in the novel that is not usually presented in a novel
What prophecy does Ahab make while alone in his cabin?
He will "dismember to dismemberer" (kill Moby Dick).
How do you think that Ahab would justify his quest for vengeance on the While Whale?
He goes by the philosophy of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; Moby Dick dismembered him, and he will dismember it.
What is Starbuck's objection to Ahab's logic as to why he should kill Moby Dick?
Taking vengeance on such a giant monster will only kill him.
What answer does Stubb propose for the Pequod's troubles?
He says that laughter is always the answer to anything troubling, as well as the comforting idea that everything is predestined.
Which sailors join in the dance described in Chapter 40?
Half of the sailors on the current night shift.
Which sailors object to the dance in Chapter 40 and on what grounds?
Iceland sailor - the floor is too springy and not cold enough
Maltese and Sicilian sailors - there are no girls to dance with
Why is the contrast between the Tahitian sailor's dialogue and that of the others important?
Why is the Spanish sailor, out of the entire crew, the first to gibe Daggoo about his skin color?
What, according to Ishmael, is Moby Dick's most telling trait?
Moby Dick is a bigger than the average sperm whale.
What traits do the theories of Olassen, Povelson, and Cuvier all assign to the sperm whale?
Sperm whales constantly lust for human blood are are feared by every other creature.
How does Ishmael speculate that the White Whale would appear to be "ubiquitous" to be in two places simultaneously?
The whales know how to navigate the Northwest Passage, which is difficult for ships to get through.
According to Ishmael's description, what was Ahab doing when Moby Dick took his leg?
He was hunting Moby Dick.
According to Ishmael, what gave Ahab the will to recover from his madness after having his leg dismembered
He channeled everything that is evil and everything that he hates into Moby Dick.
What happened to Ahab when he recovered from having his leg dismembered?
He tried to hide his monomania from other people, but he could not help it and instead manifested it into a desire to kill Moby Dick.
Why are the officers of the Pequod unable to stand in Ahab's way?
They see Ahab as a good candidate for a captain because of his deep hatred for Moby Dick, as this makes him violent at all whales in general.
Why does the color of the whale have such a profound effect on Ishmael?
To Ishmael, while white does symbolize power, prosperity, and purity, it also strongly signifies evil and malice.
What reason does Ishmael give for his seemingly irrational fear of the color white?
White is an absence of all other colors, so it makes him think of an unknown void (fear of the unknown). He also admits that there just seems to be something about the color white that is instinctively horrifying, similar to how a horse who has never seen a buffalo will be scared at the sight of buffalo hide.
What element of suspense is brought at the end of Chapter 43 (Hark!)?
Archy claims that there is someone hiding in the ship who has yet to show him/herself on board.
According to Ishmael, why does the crew take to the hunt with such ferocity?
Moby Dick is white, the color which supposedly embodies all evil.
hat leads Ahab to believe that he can find one single whale in the whole wide world?
Ahab is using the currents and the migrations patterns and feeding grounds of sperm whales to determine where they would be at different times.
Sperm whales swim in "veins", or parallel straight lines, which will also help Ahab to spot them.
He also knows that Moby Dick has been encountered very often at the equator of the Pacific Ocean.
How has the narration changed in Chapter 44 (The Chart)?
It has changed from first person to third person omniscient.
What, in order, are the items that Ishmael testifies in his Affidavit?
1) There have been instances when a whale escapes after being harpooned but is successfully defeated when it returns.
2) There have been individual whales that were well-known and recognizable by their personalities and markings.
3) Most people on land do not understand how terrifying and common whale attacks are.
4) While most people on land understand the monstrosity of whales, they are quick to ward off seemingly legendary stories of whale attacks. Ishmael uses some examples to show that these attacks are indeed true.
What is the point of view in Chapter 45 (The Affidavit)?
back to first person
Why does Ishmael consider it wise for Ahab to keep the crew busy hunting other whales when they could have been hunting Moby Dick exclusively?
- to continue with the original goal of making profits
- to ensure that Starbuck will not retaliate against his quest
- to keep the crew's appetite for hunting whales satisfied
- if Ahab reveals his insanity to his crew by too much, the crew might turn against him
What part does the wooden sword play in Ishmael's analogy?
Who spots the first whale aboard the Pequod?
Why does Ahab call for the time when the whale is sighted?
Where have we seen signs of the five "phantoms" before they appear on deck?
Chapter 21: Going Aboard
- Elijah pointed them out
Why do Fedallah and his crew immediately raise suspicion upon the ship?
They seem to be close to Ahab, as he uses them as his crew on his whaling boat.
Also because they came out of nowhere, and nobody has seen them before.
What makes Stubb's urgings to his crew unique in Ishmael's opinion?
His commands are not harsh or straightforward.
What position does Fedallah have when the boats are lowered?
What is the second masthead that Flask stands on?
After the boats are manned and the chase is underway, what is the general tone of each mate?
Starbuck: very tense whispers
Flask: yelling at and mocking his crew
Stubb: relaxed and making fun of Flask's yelling
Who throws the first iron of the voyage, and to what result?
The harpoon only grazes the whale, and it escapes. Their boat is thrown around in what feels like an earthquake and floods.
How does the Pequod finally find Starbuck and his crew?
The Pequod crashes into the boat.
What do Stubb and Queequeg think of Starbuck's decision to chase their quarry into the storm?
What does Ishmael do after his rescue?
He wonders if whaling is really this dangerous and asks some people about it.
He asks Queequeg if the threat of drowning is always this likely, to which he replies that it is.
He asks Starbuck if sending his crew into such dangerous weather is common, to which he replies that it is.
He asks Flask if it is common for the rowers on the boat to face the stern, even in dangerous conditions, to which he replies that it is.
Why is Stubb amazed at Ahab's performance during the first hunt?
because of Ahab's disability with his missing leg
Why did Ahab go to the trouble of smuggling his own boat crew aboard?
Hw wanted to chase after and kill Moby Dick himself in order to completely satisfy his monomania.
How was Ahab observed readying the "spare" boat?
He was cutting the small wooden skewers, adding an extra coat of sheathing to the underside of the boat int order for it to withstand the pressure of his ivory leg, and shaping the thigh board to make it more efficient for him with this disability to reach over and strike the whale.
Why does the crew accept the stranger so steadily after their initial appearance?
It is common for strange men and castaways to come on board ships.
"...Beelzebub might climb up the side and step down into the cabin to chat with the captain, and it would not create any unsubduable excitement in the forecastle" (277). Why is this statement so ironic?
Strange things have already occurred on the boat, so for something like the devil to appear and for nobody to notice is weird.
What relationship does Fedallah maintain with the crew as a whole?
He is the most mysterious out of all the new men, and the crew sees him as having deep spiritual and supernatural connections.
Who first spots the spirit spout? What literary device does Melville use in the description of the wave, the night, and the spout?
metaphor and imagery
What does the crew find as they attempt to hunt the spirit spout? Is Moby Dick making the spout? If so, why is this incident repeating?
The spout disappears when they chase after it every night.
The crew believes it to be Moby Dick, and the constant incident is him taunting and beckoning the ship.
Why is Ahab frustrated as the ship round the Cape of Good Hope? Where is the Cape of Good Hope located?
The ships finds itself in a violent storm.
the southern tip of Africa
How is the Pequod described as it sails through the storm?
The entire ship is quiet with Ahab still on the quarter-deck, looking out to sea.
What about Ahab's sleep form causes Starbuck to shudder?
He sleeps with his body completely erect in his chair and his closed eyes pointed towards a compass.
What is the name of the first ship that the Pequod meets in her travels? What is the condition of this ship?
The wood is bleached white, and the iron sides are rusted.
What response does the captain of the Goney give when asked about the White Whale?
Before he is able to answer, the wind blows his horn out of his hands, and it falls into the ocean.
What destination does Ahab give for his ship? What problem does Ishmael point out in sailing this course?
He wants the ship to go "round the world".
This does not imply any specific direction.
What is a Gam?
an exchange between two ships where the captains meet on one ship, the first mates meet on the other, and some of the crew of each ships visit the other ship.
What practical reason does Ishmael give for fraternization among the whaling crews?
It is a way for ships to exchange information.
When two whaling ships prepare for a Gam, where are their respective officers?
together one one of the boats
What is the captain's most important duty when approaching the other ship in a Gam
He has to stand completely erect without using anything for support, as this is supposed to be a sign of dignity.
How did Ishmael first learn about the incident on the Town Ho?
Three men on the Town-Ho told Tashtego, who told the crew after he was heard talking about it in his sleep.
What literary device does Melville use to tell the story of the Town Ho?
Where is the Golden Inn located?
How did the Town Ho's captain react to the discovery of a leak on the ship?
He sailed to a nearby harbor to have the hull repaired.
What reason does Ishmael postulate as the basis for Radney's pettiness?
While Radney is from Nantucket, Steelkilt is a "lakeman" from the Great Lakes region. Radney does not like Steelkilt because he does not live near the ocean, making him a "backward seaman".
Why did Steelkilt object to Radney's order to sweep the deck?
Steelkilt realized that Radney telling him to do menial work only meant for lower-status seamen was an insult.
Also because he was exhausted from pumping the water out of the hull.
What was the result of Radney's threats to Steelkilt?
Steelkilt said that if Radney but grazed his cheek with the hammer, he would murder Radney. Radney flung the hammer at his cheek, and he then punched Radney in the jaw.
What condition did Steelkilt place on the obedience of the crewmen who joined him?
His men could not fight unless the officers attacked them first.
How was Steelkilt finally captured?
The two Canallers betrayed him by deciding to surrender, and they tied up and gagged Steelkilt. Hearing this commotion, the mates ran down to the forecastle, seized all three men, and hanged them on a wall to be flogged.
What happened to Radney at the end of the Town Ho story?
Moby Dick ate him.
Why could the Town Ho story be considered a "spoiler" for the rest of the novel?
We can see from Radney's death just how aggressive and dangerous Moby Dick is, so we can assume that it will eat Ahab id he goes out to kill it.
When is the Town Ho story told in respect to the action aboard the Pequod?
before the current events on the Pequod
What inference can be drawn from the Town Ho story?
Moby Dick is extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to kill.
How is it that Ishmael, how was not even aboard the Town Ho?
He had talked with Steelkilt before.
Who initially spots the "strange spectre" in the ocean? What is it thought it be? What does it turn out to be?
a giant squid
Why does Starbuck say, "Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him, than to have seen thee, thou white ghost!" (referring to the giant squid)?
Having originally opposed to hunt for Moby Duck, he wants the hunt to be over with.
What leads Ishmael to believe that squid comprises the main diet of the sperm whale?
Sometimes, when being hunted, sperm whales will disgorge the limbs of squids, and unlike other other sea creatures, the sperm whale has teeth for attacking and tearing squid.
Why does the whale-line contain less tar than a standard rope?
Too much tar stiffens the line, making it more difficult for it to be coiled, and decimates its durability and strength.
What makes the whale-line so dangerous to the men in the boats?
If the whale-line is not coiled properly, it could cut off a person's limbs when being used.
What is Queequeg's opinion of the giant squid they saw?
He is excited because according to him, the presence of squids means that sperm whales are nearby.
Why is Stubb the one to kill the first sperm whale of the voyage?
He was the closest to the whale.
How is it possible that a rowboat of eight or nine men and a number of ten-pound spears can kill a whale weighing many tons?
After the harpooner strikes the whale with the harpoon, the boat pulls into the closer to the whale with the line, and the captain of the boat comes to the bow and uses a lance to cut into the whale around its body.
What literary devices are used in the following: "The ride tide pointed from all sides of the monster like brooks down a hill" (338)?
imagery and simile
What is the final sign that the hunted whale is dead?
its heart bursts
Why does Ishmael assert that only one in ten thrown harpoons finds its target?
Before throwing the harpoon, the harpooner's muscles are already sore from rowing.
What are the potential consequences of keeping the second iron in the boat for too long?
Because the second iron is attached to the same line as the first iron, the second iron will start whizzing around the boat when the first iron is thrown.
What does Melville say about Ahab's desire to kill only the White Whale
Killing any random whale will not satisfy his monomania. It will only make him more impatient to kill Moby Dick.
What does Stubb eat for dinner on the night he kills the whale?
steak from the whale he killed
Why is the crew of the Pequod pressed for time as they butcher their first kill?
There are sharks eating the whale.
What comparison does Melville make in Chapter 64 (Stubb's Supper)?
He compares the butchers carving the whale steak to the sharks eating the dead whale.
What is Stubb's opinion of the cook's (Fleece's) preparation of his steak?
The steak is overdone and not tough enough.
What literary term describes old Fleece's manner of speaking?
dialect (African American Vernacular English)
What argument does Fleece use to attempt to carry out Stubb's order? What part of the "sermon" has meaning as a theme?
When "preaching" to the sharks, he says that while their ravage ways are a part of nature, they must dine on the whale civilly, since the whale was not their in the first place.
By using religious connotations, the scene carries on the themes of human life and morality.
Who is given the duty of guarding the whale's body from sharks during the night? How do they fend off the sharks?
Queequeg and a forecastle seaman
They throw whaling-spades at them.
How do the sailors of the Pequod observe the Sabbath following their first kill?
They haul the whale up to the deck and begin butchering it (they are breaking the Sabbath by doing this).
What is a boarding sword?
a sword used to cut a whale
What proportion does Ishmael give for turning blubber to finished oil?
75% of the blubber's mass gives 100 barrels of oil
To what does Ishmael compare the scars on a whale's hide? What does Ishmael speculate might be the source of these scars?
The whales scrape against the rocks on the New England coast.
Who or what attends the whale's "funeral"?
According to Ishmael, what is the dead whale's lasting legacy?
The dead whale will be a sign to other ships that seas in the area may be deadly.
What does the description of the whale corpse miss?
Which piece of the whale's anatomy is kept after the body is disposed of? How is it stored on the ship?
It is hanged on the side of the ship.
What prevents the Jeroboan's crew from holding a Gam with the Pequod?
The ship has a disease on it.
Who is in de facto command of the Jeroboam, and why?
Why does Gabriel advise against hunting the White Whale?
He knows the whale is too violent and destructive to be defeated, and the last person on the Jeroboam to try to kill it (Macey) drowned.
What happened to man who lowered a boat to hunt Moby Dick despite Gabriel's warnings?
He was thrown into the sea and was drowned.
Why does Gabriel insist that Ahab keep the letter addressed to Macey? What literary term is implied?
Ahab will soon meet the same fate that Macey met.
Do Gabriel's warning remind you of anybody similar who was introduced earlier in the novel?
Why is Queequeg obliged to stand on the body of the dead whale?
to get the hook fixed into the pre-cut hole in the whale
How does Queequeg's position endanger Ishmael?
Since Ishmael is bound to the same monkey-rope that Queequeg is bound to, if Queequeg falls into the ocean, Ishmael will be pulled down with him.
Why does Stubb object to the drink that Dough-boy hands Queequeg, which they have ignored up to this point? On whose orders did Dough-boy prepare the drink?
The ginger-water is not a strong enough "fuel".
Why does Stubb suggest that they throw Fedallah overboard?
He believes that Fedallah is the devil, and he is exchanging Moby Dick for Ahab's soul (I'm assuming this is a hyperbole).
How does Tashtego fall overboard?
While he is inside the whale head getting spermaceti, the lines holding it snap, and the head, along with Tashtego, fall into the ocean.
What allows Queequeg time to find Tashtego after he falls overboard?
The case plastered with oil, which is less dense than water, is still attached to the head of the whale.
Who is Ishmael referring to when describe's Tashtego's rescue: "We have thee there. Not all, but I have ye" (403)?
On what basis does Ishmael justify hypothetically deifying the sperm whale?
People like Lavatar and Gall have done this before (deifying is a pseudoscience using facial features of an animals to determine their nature).
Which bone does Ishmael suggest would be a better indicator of the whale's character than the brain?
What is the name of the ship that the Pequod meets after the Jeroboam? Why is the ship's name so ironic?
the Jungfrau (Virgin)
They have not caught any whales, so the ship is literally a virgin at whaling.
What favor does the Virgin ask of the Pequod?
to give them some oil (they have not been able to replenish their oil supplies)
What do the mates think about the German whalers of the Virgin during the chase after the old bull?
They see them as rivals. Starbuck is especially annoyed when Derick (the captain of the Virgin), who is ahead of the Pequod's boats, waves a lantern at him. It is the same lantern that Starbuck filled for him as a friendly gesture.
How do the Pequod's harpooners manage to catch the whale that the Virgin is also chasing?
Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo manage to throw their harpoons over the Derick's boat, hitting the whale.
Why does a harpooned whale not simply dive deeper to escape the hunters and pull their boats underwater?
Due to the magnitude of the whale, it would experience extreme water pressure and become exhausted.
What is found when the Pequod's second whale caught is cut open?
a harpoon and a stone lance
Why does the Pequod not join the chase for a second whale in which the Virgin is partaking?
The Virgin thinks that they are chasing a sperm whale when they are really chasing a fin-back. Back in the cetology chapter, Ishmael mentioned that a fin-back is a species of whale that is deemed uncatchable because of its powerful swimming. The reason the Virgin mistakes it for a sperm whale is because both have similar spouts.
Explain the last line in Chapter 81 (The Pequod Meets the Virgin): "Oh! Many are the fin-backs, and many are the Derricks, my friend" (421).
There are many inexperienced noobs in the world who will waste their time chasing impossible simply because of a lack of knowledge. He's basically taking a stance against the "ignorance is bliss" mentality.
What classical references does Ishmael give to whaling?
- In Roman Mythology, Perseus killed a whale to rescue Andromeda. He is considered the first whaler in history.
- According to legend, St. George fought and killed a dragon during the Crusades (Ishmael insists that the dragon was a whale, since the words "whale" and "dragon" were often used interchangeably, and Ezekiel even called it a "dragon of the sea")
- Hercules was once swallowed by a whale, but Ishmael does not know if he was an actual whaler.
- In the Bible, a whale eats Jonah. Since Ishmael considers Jonah a part of the whaling family, Hercules also might as well be.
- In Hinduism, Vishnu was once incarnated as a whale (PSA from Utsav: What's interesting is that Vishnu's incarnation wasn't really a whale but a giant goldfish according to many Hindu scriptures. I know this being a Hindu myself. But you can still call it a whale in this context).
With what points does Ishmael express doubts in the story of Jonah?
- Sag Harbor, a whaleman from the town of the same name, has an illustration of a whale in his Bible that has two spouts instead of one
- The gastric juices inside the whale would have digested Jonah
- The Bible says that Jonah was inside the whale for 3 days, yet the distance the whale travelled (from Joppa to Nineveh) would have taken longer than 3 days.
What is "pitchpoling"?
When a harpoon is stuck inside a whale but would be dislodged from it if the rope is pulled, the harpooner repeatedly throws a longer, thinner lance at it from the boat.
What distinguishes a whaling ship from other ocean vessels in regards to their supplies?
A whaling ship only carries supplies and tools necessary to the crew's vitality and to hunting whales.
Who or what is the Pequod missing as she passes the straits of Sundra?
How do the whales that Ahab chases in the straits of Sundra act?
They are extremely frightened and, as Ishmael puts it, are "gallied" by the hunters. They swim frantically around one another like humans in a building panicking in a fire, except that the whales seem to remain in one general area.
What is a drugg?
Two thick wooden blocks are tied together and then tied to a harpoon, creating a drugg. In the case of a pod of whales, a drugg can impale multiple whales that are not currently being chased so that they can be killed later with little effort.
What makes the pod of whales that the Pequod chases noteworthy?
They are very tame, almost as if they are domesticated. They even come up to the whaling boat like puppies, allowing Starbuck and Queequeg to pet them.
What do Starbuck and Queequeg do while in the middle of the pod of whales? Why?
Starbuck scratches the whales' backs with his lance. Queequeg pets their foreheads.
They do this because the whales are very tame and approach the boat like puppies.
How many whales from the pod does the Pequod succeed in catching?
why are some whales called "schoolmasters"?
They are the male leaders of a harem (a school of female whales).
If you were to find a single sperm whale swimming in the sea, what assumption could you make about its age based on Ishmael's testimony?
It is really old because, according to Ishmael, schoolmasters leave their schools and become lone whales when they reach an extremely old age.
What country was most effective in legislating whaling, and what laws did it enact?
A fast fish belongs to the part fast to it.
A loose fish is fair game for anybody who can soonest catch it.
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