Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick

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Queequeg Character Analysis

A harpooneer from the Pacific island of Kokovoko, Queequeg left his home and royal position on his Island at a young age to try his luck on whale-ships in the United States. Queequeg is a loyal friend to Ishmael, and the two have an intimate bond that transcends their differences and spans their entire time on the Pequod. Although Queequeg saves a number of characters in the novel from drowning, and almost dies of a fever, he survives until the wreck of the Pequod, in which he drowns.

Queequeg Quotes in Moby-Dick

The Moby-Dick quotes below are all either spoken by Queequeg or refer to Queequeg. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Limits of Knowledge Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Moby-Dick published in 2002.
Chapter 16 Quotes

I have forgotten to mention that, in many things, Queequeg placed great confidence in the excellence of Yojo’s judgment and surprising forecast of things; and cherished Yojo with considerable esteem, as a rather good sort of god . . . .

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker), Queequeg
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes

Ye’ve shipped, have ye? Names down on the papers? Well, well, what’s signed, is signed; and what’s to be, will be; and then again, perhaps it won’t be, after all.

Related Characters: Elijah (speaker), Ishmael, Queequeg
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 110 Quotes

They asked him, then, whether to live or die was a matter of his own sovereign will and pleasure. He answered, certainly. In a word, it was Queequeg’s conceit, that if a man made up his mind to live, mere sickness could not kill him: nothing but a whale, or a gale, or some violent, ungovernable, unintelligent destroyer of that sort.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker), Queequeg
Page Number: 523
Explanation and Analysis:

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Queequeg Character Timeline in Moby-Dick

The timeline below shows where the character Queequeg appears in Moby-Dick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Spouter-Inn
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The innkeeper teases Ishmael when Ishmael expresses anxiety about sharing his bed with the harpooneer. The innkeeper tells him that the harpooneer is out that night “selling his head,” and... (full context)
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...sleep. After a short time, however, Ishmael notices a man coming into the darkened room—the harpooneer. Ishmael notices, with horror and fear, that the man is from a “foreign land,” that... (full context)
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The harpooneer begins a religious ceremony wherein he prays to a small black wooden idol, which Ishmael... (full context)
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...to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.” Ishmael tells Coffin to tell Queequeg, who speaks in in a kind of broken English Ishmael doesn’t entirely understand, to put... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Counterpane
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Ishmael wakes the next morning, and finds that Queequeg has “draped his arm” across him in a “most affectionate manner.” Ishmael also sees that... (full context)
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But Ishmael shakes off the vision, and rouses Queequeg, who begins to dress (and who, courteously, says to Ishmael in their shared language that... (full context)
Chapter 5: Breakfast
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...have probably done brave deeds, have very little to say for themselves. Ishmael notes that Queequeg eats a strange breakfast of beefsteaks, “cooked very rare,” which he lances with his harpoon.... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Chapel
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...have died, and had their bodies lost, while on sea-voyages. Ishmael is surprised to find Queequeg also in the chapel, although Queequeg is a “heathen,” or non-Christian. Ishmael also sees young... (full context)
Chapter 10: A Bosom Friend
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...the end of the sermon and walks back to the Spouter Inn, where he sees Queequeg by the fire, the latter having left before the sermon’s close. Ishmael watches as Queequeg... (full context)
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Ishmael, wanting to be friendly with Queequeg, shows him what the words and pictures in the book signify, and Queequeg offers that... (full context)
Chapter 11: Nightgown
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Ishmael muses on his second night in bed with Queequeg. The two spend much of the first part of the evening “chatting and napping” next... (full context)
Chapter 12: Biographical
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Queequeg tells Ishmael, using his broken English, that he was born on a Pacific isle called... (full context)
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But the ship from Sag Harbor would not let Queequeg aboard, and he paddled his canoe out to a strait, one the ship would have... (full context)
Chapter 13: Wheelbarrow
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Ishmael pays for the inn’s room with some of Queequeg’s money, and the two place their belongings—both their bags—into a wheelbarrow they borrow from someone... (full context)
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Queequeg tells Ishmael a story of the first time he saw a wheelbarrow, in Sag Harbor.... (full context)
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Queequeg and Ishmael load their belongings onto the Moss, and set out through the cold wind... (full context)
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...and forth, and the boom knocks the young boy off the decks of the ship. Queequeg, sensing that the boy might drown, throws a line around the boom to steady it,... (full context)
Chapter 14: Nantucket
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Ishmael and Queequeg arrive in Nantucket with no further misadventure. Ishmael fills this brief chapter with a rhapsody... (full context)
Chapter 15: Chowder
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Ishmael and Queequeg disembark in Nantucket and, upon the recommendation of Peter Coffin, proceed to an inn owned... (full context)
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...the milk in the Try Pots smells of fish—Nantucket being a fishing town—Ishmael goes with Queequeg upstairs to bed. Mrs. Hussey welcomes them to their room, saying only that she will... (full context)
Chapter 16: The Ship
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That next morning, Queequeg informs Ishmael that his little wooden god, named Yojo, has told him that Ishmael is... (full context)
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...much for the pay, he signs anyway, and asks if he can bring his friend Queequeg along the next day. Peleg and Bildad agree. As Ishmael is walking back to Queequeg,... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Ramadan
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...returns to the Try Pots and attempts to get into the room he shares with Queequeg, but, although he sees through a crack in the door that Queequeg’s harpoon is inside... (full context)
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Ishmael is relieved to find Queequeg there, and believes that this day of prayer, his “Ramadan,” or fast, cannot last much... (full context)
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Queequeg does not understand much of Ishmael’s speech, however, and when Ishmael asks if Queequeg’s stomach... (full context)
Chapter 18: His Mark
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As Ishmael and Queequeg approach the Pequod, Peleg and Bildad, from the wigwam, exclaim that they wish Ishmael had... (full context)
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But Bildad persists in wanting Queequeg to convert the Christianity, pressing into his hand a religious tract in English, which Queequeg... (full context)
Chapter 19: The Prophet
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As Ishmael and Queequeg are leaving the Pequod, they run into a man who does not identify himself, who... (full context)
Chapter 21: Going Aboard
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Ishmael and Queequeg come back to the ship the next morning, before sunrise, and intend to board for... (full context)
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Ishmael and Queequeg do see a light on below-decks, however, and go down to find a “rigger” (a... (full context)
Chapter 24: The Advocate
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...as an “advocate” to the reader, in this chapter, of the practice of hunting whales, Queequeg’s profession and that of other harpooneers and sailors on the Pequod. Ishmael wonders aloud why... (full context)
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...men, have taken up whaling as a way of making a living. Ishmael states that Queequeg, and men like him, are of inherently noble and distinguished character. And Ishmael concludes, implicitly,... (full context)
Chapter 27: Knights and Squires
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...out a whaling boat, when the whale is being tracked, and brings with him a harpooneer as a “squire,” or assistant, to hook the whale. Starbuck’s harpooneer is Queequeg; Stubb’s is... (full context)
Chapter 34: The Cabin-Table
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Ishmael also describes, briefly, the meals eaten by the three harpooneers—Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo—whose lip-smacking and “barbaric” manners tend to scare the dough-boy, or cook, on... (full context)
Chapter 36: The Quarter-Deck
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...ounce of gold (which he nails to the mast of the Pequod). Tashtego, Daggoo, and Queequeg wonder aloud if this isn’t Moby Dick, the same whale that bit off Ahab’s leg,... (full context)
Chapter 47: The Mat-Maker
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Ishmael begins this short chapter by saying that he and Queequeg are together weaving a “sword mat, for an additional lashing to their boat” (meaning the... (full context)
Chapter 48: The First Lowering
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...calmly smokes his pipe in the second boat. Ishmael is seated on Starbuck’s boat, near Queequeg, and after rowing out in pursuit of three whales for a long period of time,... (full context)
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Finally, after hours have elapsed, Queequeg hears the Pequod through the mists, and the crew realizes that the ship is bearing... (full context)
Chapter 49: The Hyena
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Once he returns to the Pequod, Ishmael makes the rounds, asking Queequeg, Stubb, and Flask if it is a common occurrence for whale-boats nearly to capsize when... (full context)
Chapter 61: Stubb Kills a Whale
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Queequeg senses that the presence of the squid means a sperm whale is nearby, and Ishmael,... (full context)
Chapter 66: The Shark Massacre
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...crush their skulls—although this sometimes only caused others to bite in more of a frenzy. Queequeg, after pulling in one shark to skin it, is shocked that the apparently dead shark’s... (full context)
Chapter 72: The Monkey-Rope
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...doing the cutting on the back of the whale, partially submerged in the water, was Queequeg. Ishmael was tied to Queequeg via something called the monkey-rope, meaning that the two were... (full context)
Chapter 78: Cistern and Buckets
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...Stubb worries that Daggoo will succeed only in clobbering and injuring Tash with the spike. Queequeg, accustomed to saving people in the water, dives in after Tash, and, from the water,... (full context)
Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets the Virgin
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...and there is nothing the crew of the Pequod can do to keep it upright. Queequeg eventually cuts through the thick iron chain holding the whale to the ship, and the... (full context)
Chapter 87: The Grand Armada
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...stop running and congregate in a “galley,” or a large stationary group. Ishmael watches as Queequeg spears several whales at the same time and uses a “drugg,” or set of wooden... (full context)
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...to cause the large group of whales to trash around and imperil the three whaleboats. Queequeg leaps down from his harpoon location and picks up his oar again; Ishmael’s whaleboat barely... (full context)
Chapter 99: The Doubloon
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...Zodiac on the coin and sees a series of inside, sexually-based jokes. Stubb then spots Queequeg on the deck, but he is not looking at the doubloon—he is only studying his... (full context)
Chapter 110: Queequeg in His Coffin
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Queequeg helps to empty out the hold of the ship, and in doing so sweats so... (full context)
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The carpenter makes Queequeg a canoe exactly to his shape, and Queequeg decides to lie in it, living out... (full context)
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...that it is possible for a man to decide he is finished being sick, but Queequeg says this is exactly so. He leaves his coffin and goes up to the top... (full context)
Chapter 126: The Life-Buoy
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Ahab orders that the carpenter use Queequeg’s coffin as the new life buoy, covering over its seams with “pitch” and making it... (full context)
Epilogue
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...to drown had fizzled by the time Ishmael reached its “center,” and at this point, Queequeg’s coffin splashes up from the depths, allowing Ishmael to grab it and float. Ishmael then... (full context)