Herman Melville

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Moby-Dick: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Starbuck has his own internal monologue, in which he says to himself that Ahab is a madman, that nothing good can come of his obsession with Moby Dick, and that the crew now has come around to Ahab’s cause and is acting mad as well. Starbuck wonders if the crew will be able to calm itself enough to go on watch tonight.
This will not be the first time that Starbuck grumbles to himself about Ahab’s madness. The conflict between the pragmatic, practical Starbuck and the sultan-like, mysterious, fate- and pride-driven Ahab begins to take shape more fully.
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