Herman Melville

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Moby-Dick: Chapter 74 Summary & Analysis

Ishmael states that the head of the sperm whale is “more noble” than that of the right whale, and that the sperm whale can see two entirely different things with each of its eyes, since the eyes are on nearly opposite sides of the head. Ishmael also notes that the size of the eyes and ears of the sperm whale do not affect how readily it processes visual or aural information. Lastly, Ishmael notes that the three harpooneers will eventually detach the lower jaw of the sperm whale’s head and saw off its teeth as souvenirs.
The sperm whale’s head is described as the head typical of an animal who hunts. The sperm whale does not appear to need very large eyes or ears, because the sperm whale is only hunted by men. Otherwise, it is the sperm whale who is on the attack in the deep oceans of the world.
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