Herman Melville

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Bulkington Character Analysis

The Pequod’s pilot, or steering-man, as it leaves the docks in Nantucket, Bulkington is praised by Ishmael at the beginning of the novel and then forgotten. To Ishmael, Bulkington is a symbol of the many good men whose stories are not told, and who are made to die with the “more famous” or more notable men, like Ahab and Queequeg, who form the basis of the novel.

Bulkington Quotes in Moby-Dick

The Moby-Dick quotes below are all either spoken by Bulkington or refer to Bulkington. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Moby-Dick published in 2002.
Chapter 23 Quotes

But as in landlessness alone resides the highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety!

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker), Bulkington
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bulkington Character Timeline in Moby-Dick

The timeline below shows where the character Bulkington appears in Moby-Dick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 23: The Lee Shore
Limits of Knowledge Theme Icon
Fate and Free Will Theme Icon
Nature and Man Theme Icon
...that the man at the helm of the Pequod, as it first left shore, was Bulkington, under orders from Starbuck—the same Bulkington who was referred to in adulatory tones in the... (full context)