Ahab tells Pip that Pip must leave him—that they are embarking on the portion of the journey that will require Ahab to fight the White Whale. Pip responds that although he was once abandoned by Stubb during a whaling mission, he, now, will not abandon Ahab. Ahab walks away from Pip, and Pip begins a strange monologue with himself, asking “if anyone has seen Pip,” and saying he will be rooted near Ahab’s cabin for the remainder of the voyage.
After abandoning Gardiner's son, Ahab now (kindly, but still) abandons Pip. It is interesting to note the differences between the madnesses of Pip and Ahab. Pip, a black powerless child, goes mad when he is overcome by his insignificance within the larger world. Ahab, a powerful white man, becomes overcome by his own sense of self and importance, his sense that he has been singled out as the man who must kill Moby Dick.