Don’t Call Me Ishmael

by

Michael Gerard Bauer

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Ishmael and Prue’s dad is a supportive parent, though Ishmael acknowledges his dad has his faults. Dad believes the story of how Ishmael got his name is something he needs to share with everyone, no matter how the listener feels about hearing it. Dad also thinks he’s very funny, so he regularly tells jokes that make Ishmael and others roll their eyes. Mom and Dad met in an American Literature class at university, in which they studied the novel Moby-Dick. This is why they decided to name Ishmael after the novel’s narrator: Dad loves Moby-Dick and all its film adaptations.

Dad Quotes in Don’t Call Me Ishmael

The Don’t Call Me Ishmael quotes below are all either spoken by Dad or refer to Dad. 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:
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Greenwillow Books edition of Don’t Call Me Ishmael published in 2007.
Chapter 5 Quotes

“Ishmael? What kind of a wussy-crap name is that?”

What could I say? Up to this point in my life I hadn’t even known it was a wussy-crap name. No one had warned me that I had a wussy-crap name. Why would my parents give me a wussy-crap name in the first place? Was Herman Melville aware it was a wussy-crap name?

Related Characters: Barry Bagsley (speaker), Ishmael Leseur (speaker), Mom, Dad
Related Symbols: Moby-Dick
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 41 Quotes

The second thing I decided to do was ask Dad if I could borrow his copy of Moby-Dick. “Aaarrgh, me hearty,” he said, rolling his eyes crazily, “ye be seeking the white whale!”

I wasn’t, though. I be seeking Ishmael.

Related Characters: Ishmael Leseur (speaker), Dad (speaker), Kelly Faulkner, Barry Bagsley
Related Symbols: Moby-Dick
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:
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Don’t Call Me Ishmael PDF

Dad Character Timeline in Don’t Call Me Ishmael

The timeline below shows where the character Dad appears in Don’t Call Me Ishmael. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
None of Ishmael’s family members—Dad, Mom, or his sister Prue—suffer from the syndrome. Prue, in fact, is “adorable” and almost... (full context)
Chapter 2
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...times it feels like he was there (he was there, kind of). Nobody can stop Dad from telling the story. Once he gets started, the unlucky listener has no choice but... (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...“disturbing behavior” in other people. He used to think it only triggered odd behavior in Dad, but then he met Barry Bagsley and learned that his name can bring out the... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mom had just taken a drink of water, but she hadn’t swallowed yet. Shocked at Dad’s appearance, she laughed, spit the water out, and started having contractions. Dad hurt himself trying... (full context)
Chapter 4
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
...Melville. If Herman Melville hadn’t written his famous novel Moby-Dick 150 years ago, Mom and Dad wouldn’t have studied it at university and met each other in their American Literature class.... (full context)
Chapter 8
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...five “amazing” facts from each student. Ishmael’s five facts are that Prue is a genius, Dad played in a band, Mom is on the city council, Ishmael used to faint during... (full context)
Chapter 10
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
...he doesn’t stand up for himself—but what would they suggest he do? Threaten to let Dad tell Barry the story of how Ishmael got his name? Flatter Barry by suggesting he... (full context)
Chapter 26
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
...tormenting him anymore, and Kelly Faulkner might even be a possible love interest. Mom and Dad even notice the change, and Prue is impressed. This is a real compliment coming from... (full context)
Chapter 28
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...the ground in his hurry. Moments later, Ishmael is dressed and in the car with Dad. (full context)
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
On the drive, Dad checks if Ishmael is okay. Ishmael says he is, though he feels ready to vomit... (full context)
Chapter 31
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...dizzy and surrounded by concerned people. Razza’s mom promises to explain things to Mom and Dad, so when Ishmael gets home, he goes straight to his room. Mom and Dad, of... (full context)
Chapter 36
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...the front of the room when Ignatius calls his name. In the audience, Mom and Dad are trying unsuccessfully to look casual. (full context)
Chapter 41
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...in his daydreams. And second, Ishmael decides it’s time to read Moby-Dick. When he asks Dad for his old copy, Dad says that Ishmael is seeking the white whale. That isn’t... (full context)
Chapter 42
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Reading Moby-Dick isn’t at all straightforward. Dad insists that Ishmael can’t read the abridged version, so Ishmael finds himself staring down a... (full context)
Chapter 44
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Ishmael finishes Moby-Dick that weekend. When he gives the book back to Dad, Dad insists they have to watch the film adaptation starring Gregory Peck as Ahab. As... (full context)
Chapter 45
Identity and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Bullying and Courage Theme Icon
Mom drops Ishmael off on the night of the final school event. Mom, Dad, and Prue can’t come, since Mom has a charity dinner and Prue is sick. So... (full context)