Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick

Ishmael Character Analysis

The narrator of the novel, and its protagonist, Ishmael is a relatively poor young man in New York City at the beginning of the narrative. On a whim, Ishmael decides to take up a job on a whaling vessel, because he craves “freedom” and adventure. Ishmael meets and befriends Queequeg, a harpooneer, and the two set off on the Pequod, meeting Ahab, the ship’s crew, and the terrible Moby Dick. Ishmael documents much of the action on the ship, and also informs the reader of the philosophically, scientific, and religious aspects of sailing and whaling. Ishmael is the only character in the novel to survive the wreck of the Pequod. It is worth noting that while Ishmael tells the reader to “Call him Ishmael,” in the famous first line of the novel, there is no certainty that Ishmael is in fact his given name, a fact that both hints at the limits of knowledge that is a theme of the book and highlights the name’s Biblical origin, as the Biblical Ishmael was an orphan of sorts, abandoned along with his mother Hagar by his father (and his mother’s master) Abraham.

Ishmael Quotes in Moby-Dick

The Moby-Dick quotes below are all either spoken by Ishmael or refer to Ishmael. 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 1 Quotes

Call me Ishmael.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

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The whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless procession of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker), Moby Dick
Related Symbols: The White Whale
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

The pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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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 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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Chapter 41 Quotes

For one, I gave myself up to the abandonment of the time and the place; but while yet all a-rush to encounter the whale, could see naught in that brute but the deadliest ill.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker), Moby Dick
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 42 Quotes

Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation? . . . Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color . . . is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows . . . ?

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Related Symbols: The White Whale
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 52 Quotes

Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only thought numberless perils to the very point whence we started, where those that we left behind secure, were all the time before us.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 54 Quotes

So help me Heaven, and on my honor the story I have told ye, gentlemen, is in substance and its great items, true. I know it to be true; it happened on this ball; I trod the ship . . . I have seen and talked with Steelkilt since the death of Radney.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker), Steelkilt, Radney
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 60 Quotes

All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Rope (the Line)
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 68 Quotes

O, man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou, too, remain warm among ice. Do thou, too, live in this world without being of it. Be cool at the equator; keep thy blood fluid at the Pole. . . . retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Related Symbols: The White Whale
Page Number: 334
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 75 Quotes

The Right Whale I take to have been a Stoic; the Sperm Whale, a Platonian, who might have taken up Spinoza in his latter years.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 367
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 82 Quotes

Perseus, St. George, Hercules, Jonah, and Vishnoo! there’s a member-roll for you! What club but the whaleman’s can head off like that?

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 398
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 92 Quotes

What then shall I liken the Sperm Whale to for fragrance, considering his magnitude? Must it not be to that famous elephant, with jeweled tusks, and redolent with myrrh, which was led out of an Indian town to do honor to Alexander the Great?

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 449
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 103 Quotes

Thus we see how that the spine of even the hugest of living things tapers off at last into simple child’s play.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 495
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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Chapter 135 Quotes

Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Related Symbols: The White Whale
Page Number: 624
Explanation and Analysis:

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Epilogue Quotes

On the second day, a sail drew near, nearer, and picked me up at last. It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her tracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.

Related Characters: Ishmael (speaker)
Page Number: 625
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ishmael Character Timeline in Moby-Dick

The timeline below shows where the character Ishmael appears in Moby-Dick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Loomings
Fate and Free Will Theme Icon
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The novel begins with a famous sentence: “Call me Ishmael.” The novel’s narrator, Ishmael, is a young man from New York City, who is preparing... (full context)
Limits of Knowledge Theme Icon
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Ishmael further clarifies that he was looking to go to sea not as the commander of... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Carpet-Bag
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Race, Fellowship, and Enslavement Theme Icon
Ishmael narrates how he wound up on the particular boat, the Pequod, on which the novel... (full context)
Fate and Free Will Theme Icon
Nature and Man Theme Icon
Race, Fellowship, and Enslavement Theme Icon
Ishmael walks by a series of inns, attached to bars (or “public houses”) that appear too... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Spouter-Inn
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Near the Ishmael describes the entrance to the Spouter Inn, near which hangs a painting of a dark... (full context)
Fate and Free Will Theme Icon
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The innkeeper teases Ishmael when Ishmael expresses anxiety about sharing his bed with the harpooneer. The innkeeper tells him... (full context)
Fate and Free Will Theme Icon
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Race, Fellowship, and Enslavement Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
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Ishmael takes off his clothes and crawls into the small bed, then tries to go to... (full context)
Fate and Free Will Theme Icon
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Race, Fellowship, and Enslavement Theme Icon
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...harpooneer begins a religious ceremony wherein he prays to a small black wooden idol, which Ishmael calls a “manikin.” After this prayer ceremony, the harpooneer turns around and, seeing Ishmael in... (full context)
Limits of Knowledge Theme Icon
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This convinces Ishmael, who remarks to himself that it is “better to sleep with a sober cannibal than... (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... (full context)
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But Ishmael shakes off the vision, and rouses Queequeg, who begins to dress (and who, courteously, says... (full context)
Chapter 5: Breakfast
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Ishmael rises and sees Peter Coffin the next morning—although he is a little embarrassed at having... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Street
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Ishmael goes out for a “stroll” in the streets of New Bedford, and remarks that there,... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Chapel
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Ishmael comes in out of the cold and sleet and into the Whaleman’s Chapel, in which... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Pulpit
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Ishmael watches as the preacher of the chapel, named Father Mapple and famous in New Bedford... (full context)
Chapter 10: A Bosom Friend
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Ishmael leaves the chapel at the end of the sermon and walks back to the Spouter... (full context)
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Ishmael, wanting to be friendly with Queequeg, shows him what the words and pictures in the... (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... (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 Kokovoko—Ishmael says... (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... (full context)
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Queequeg tells Ishmael a story of the first time he saw a wheelbarrow, in Sag Harbor. Not knowing... (full context)
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Queequeg and Ishmael load their belongings onto the Moss, and set out through the cold wind for Nantucket.... (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... (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... (full context)
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...rooms, indeed even 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... (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 to select... (full context)
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Ishmael looks over the Pequod, and finds it to be an old and beautiful ship, adorned,... (full context)
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This old sailor asks whether Ishmael has any experience on boats, and when Ishmael says he has been on merchant ships,... (full context)
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Peleg pushes Ishmael further, asking if Ishmael is willing to throw a harpoon down a “whale’s throat,” and... (full context)
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Ishmael writes that both Peleg and Bildad were Nantucket Quakers, but are hardly peaceful for that—though... (full context)
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Ishmael is offended at this paltry offer, but believing this is the ship for him, and... (full context)
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Before Ishmael leaves, Peleg tells him that Ahab was a little “out of his head” after his... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Ramadan
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Ishmael returns to the Try Pots and attempts to get into the room he shares with... (full context)
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Ishmael is relieved to find Queequeg there, and believes that this day of prayer, his “Ramadan,”... (full context)
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Queequeg does not understand much of Ishmael’s speech, however, and when Ishmael asks if Queequeg’s stomach ever becomes upset after a fast,... (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... (full context)
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...with it. But Bildad mumbles about Providence to himself as he walks away from Peleg, Ishmael, and 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... (full context)
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...man says only that Ahab lost his leg to a whale, and under suspicious circumstances. Ishmael asks the man’s name, and he replies that it’s Elijah, which Ishmael recognizes as the... (full context)
Chapter 20: All Astir
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Ishmael reports that, for the next few days, Bildad and Peleg orchestrated the packing of the... (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... (full context)
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Ishmael and Queequeg do see a light on below-decks, however, and go down to find a... (full context)
Chapter 22: Merry Christmas
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It is Christmas Day when the Pequod pushes off from shore, and Ishmael reports that Bildad and Peleg help to guide the vessel from port, as “pilots,” before... (full context)
Chapter 23: The Lee Shore
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In this short chapter, Ishmael addresses the reader and points out that the man at the helm of the Pequod,... (full context)
Chapter 24: The Advocate
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Ishmael serves as an “advocate” to the reader, in this chapter, of the practice of hunting... (full context)
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Ishmael goes on to say that whaling is responsible for a great many of the advances... (full context)
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Ishmael closes the chapter by saying that perhaps the profession of whaling does not have its... (full context)
Chapter 25: Postscript
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Ishmael includes a brief addendum to his previous chapter, asking the reader whether he or she... (full context)
Chapter 26: Knights and Squires
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Ishmael takes a moment to introduce the leadership of the Pequod. Starbuck, the first mate, is... (full context)
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Ishmael goes on to qualify the exact nature of Starbuck’s bravery and personal courage, which, he... (full context)
Chapter 27: Knights and Squires
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Ishmael goes on to describe the other two mates. Stubb, the second mate, is “calm and... (full context)
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Ishmael names Starbuck, Stubb, and Flask the three “knights” of the Pequod, under the command of... (full context)
Chapter 28: Ahab
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Ishmael notes that the Pequod goes out into the Atlantic for several days, and still no... (full context)
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Ishmael reports also that Ahab stands in a sort of “pivot-hole” worn into the deck of... (full context)
Chapter 30: The Pipe
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...pipe and sits on the quarterdeck, appearing, according to the narrator (who is perhaps still Ishmael, although Ishmael is not present in the scene), to be the “king” of his domain—the... (full context)
Chapter 32: Cetology
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Ishmael attempts to lay out for the reader a systematic overview of the kinds of whales,... (full context)
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Ishmael divides the whales as though they are books. Book 1, chapter 1 is the sperm... (full context)
Chapter 33: The Specksnyder
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Ishmael begins this short chapter by stating that whale-boats are different from other ships, in that... (full context)
Chapter 34: The Cabin-Table
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Ishmael then notes, briefly, the nature of Ahab’s dining. Ahab eats his dinner each nigh with... (full context)
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Ishmael also describes, briefly, the meals eaten by the three harpooneers—Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo—whose lip-smacking and... (full context)
Chapter 35: The Mast-Head
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Ishmael describes the duty of sitting atop the mast-head, or the tip of each long spar... (full context)
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Ishmael says that sailors on the Pequod and similar vessels sit atop the mast for two-hour... (full context)
Chapter 41: Moby Dick
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Ishmael tells the reader that he, too, was present during the wild revelry of that night,... (full context)
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Ishmael goes on to say that some sailors believe Moby Dick to be immortal, incapable of... (full context)
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...the bite had caused him to go “mad” during the return to the United States. Ishmael reports that Ahab’s “monomania,” or obsession with the whale, was not born of the bite... (full context)
Chapter 42: The Whiteness of the Whale
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Ishmael uses this chapter as a space to muse upon the whiteness of Moby Dick, which... (full context)
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But Ishmael says that whiteness has another dimension—that of shadows, of ghosts, of things that are haunted.... (full context)
Chapter 44: The Chart
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Ishmael reports that Ahab could be seen the night of the storm in his own chambers,... (full context)
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Ishmael goes on to say that, when Ahab emerges from his cabin after looking at his... (full context)
Chapter 45: The Affidavit
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In this chapter, Ishmael proceeds as though in a court of law, to make clear to the reader that... (full context)
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Ishmael goes on to list some other famous whales, including “New Zealand Tom” and “Don Miguel,”... (full context)
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And Ishmael continues, saying that some whales, when they are large enough, can even capsize not just... (full context)
Chapter 46: Surmises
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Ishmael here writes that, although Ahab is singularly devoted to the catching and killing of Moby... (full context)
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Thus, Ishmael writes, Ahab knows he must keep his crew occupied, just as knights on a quest... (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... (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... (full context)
Chapter 50: Ahab’s Boat and Crew. Fedallah.
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Ishmael also writes, briefly, that Fedallah and the others of the “tiger crew” do not ever... (full context)
Chapter 52: The Albatross
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In this short chapter, Ishmael reports that the crew of the Pequod comes near to another whaling vessel, called The... (full context)
Chapter 53: The Gam
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Ishmael tells the reader that Ahab would probably not have had much to say to the... (full context)
Chapter 54: The Town-Ho’s Story
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Ishmael then states that, soon after seeing the Albatross, the Pequod came near another vessel, the... (full context)
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The Town-Ho, as Ishmael relates, was a whaling vessel that had been taking on water slowly, and a crew... (full context)
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Ishmael closes out his story by stating that the captain of the Town-Ho allowed Steelkilt and... (full context)
Chapter 55: Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales
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Ishmael quickly outlines the fact that, in many cultures, one is hard-pressed to find an accurate... (full context)
Chapter 56: Of the Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales, and the True
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Ishmael adds, however, that he has, on occasion, seen some accurate sketches, paintings, and engravings of... (full context)
Chapter 57: Of Whales in Paint; in Teeth; in Wood; in Sheet-Iron; in Stone; in Mountains; in Stars
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Ishmael rounds out his chapters on depictions of whales by stating that the best sketches and... (full context)
Chapter 58: Brit
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Ishmael describes the “brit,” or bright krill-like organism that runs in long “fields” in the oceans.... (full context)
Chapter 60: The Line
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Ishmael describes the strong “line,” or rope, that is tied to the end of a harpoon... (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, on the watch at the mast-head, spots one the next day; he calls, along with... (full context)
Chapter 62: The Dart
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Ishmael notes that during a whale-hunt the harpooneer and the headsman (in this previous case, Stubb)... (full context)
Chapter 63: The Crotch
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Ishmael also states that the harpoon line has not one but two harpoons connected to it,... (full context)
Chapter 65: The Whale as a Dish
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Ishmael remarks, in an aside, that some might find it strange that Stubb eats the whale’s... (full context)
Chapter 66: The Shark Massacre
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Ishmael notes that, before the “cutting in” of the whale meat can take place, usually those... (full context)
Chapter 67: Cutting In
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Ishmael describes the process of cutting away the whale’s blubber, which proceeds by “corkscrewing away” long... (full context)
Chapter 68: The Blanket
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Ishmael comments that it is difficult to know whether the whale’s blubber is its skin or... (full context)
Chapter 69: The Funeral
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Ishmael reports that the whale’s carcass is cut away from the ship after its head is... (full context)
Chapter 70: The Sphynx
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Ishmael loops back to the beheading of a whale—something he has only glossed over in the... (full context)
Chapter 72: The Monkey-Rope
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Ishmael goes back to the process of “flensing” (or skinning) the whale of its blubber, stating... (full context)
Chapter 74: The Sperm Whale’s Head—Contrasted View
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Ishmael states that the head of the sperm whale is “more noble” than that of the... (full context)
Chapter 75: The Right Whale’s Head—Contrasted View
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Ishmael notes that the right whale has a mass of hairlike fibers inside its mouth, for... (full context)
Chapter 76: The Battering-Ram
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Ishmael notes that the forehead of the sperm whale is so thick and so strong (resembling... (full context)
Chapter 77: The Great Heidelburgh Tun
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Ishmael briefly describes the “case” or “tun” in which the sperm whale’s spermaceti, or oil, is... (full context)
Chapter 79: The Praire
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Ishmael describes the “forehead” of the sperm whale, or the space between the eyes, which has... (full context)
Chapter 80: The Nut
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Although Ishmael describes the sperm whale’s brain as being very small—no larger than a “nut,” and very... (full context)
Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets the Virgin
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...the whale to the ship, and the whale sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Ishmael states that, sometimes, these whales rise again after several days—they fill with gas from their... (full context)
Chapter 82: The Honour and Glory of Whaling
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Ishmael reports that he considers a great number of historical and mythological figures also to be... (full context)
Chapter 83: Jonah Historically Regarded
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Ishmael addresses the Biblical story of Jonah, pointing out some contemporary criticisms of the veracity of... (full context)
Chapter 84: Pitchpoling
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...the whaleboats, tracks another whale from his whale-boat and kills it by “pitchpoling,” a method Ishmael describes in this chapter. In it, Stubb takes a smaller, shorter harpoon, rests it with... (full context)
Chapter 85: The Fountain
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Ishmael notes that the whale can hold its breath for over an hour, and that air... (full context)
Chapter 86: The Tail
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Ishmael attempts to describe the large and powerful tail of the sperm whale, stating that its... (full context)
Chapter 87: The Grand Armada
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Ishmael remarks that the Pequod is passing the coasts of Java, known to be rich in... (full context)
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...the whales, which 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... (full context)
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...three whaleboats. Queequeg leaps down from his harpoon location and picks up his oar again; Ishmael’s whaleboat barely escapes between two whales and squeezes out of the pod. Ishmael notes, with... (full context)
Chapter 88: Schools and Schoolmasters
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Ishmael tells the reader that one encounters two groups or pods of whales on the high... (full context)
Chapter 89: Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish
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Ishmael explores whale fishing and its relation to the law. In particular, Ishmael describes the doctrine... (full context)
Chapter 90: Heads or Tails
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Ishmael tells another story to illustrate the unfairness of the “fast and loose” system in whaling.... (full context)
Chapter 92: Ambergris
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Ishmael notes that ambergris, a substance prized for its fragrance and used in perfumes the world... (full context)
Chapter 93: The Castaway
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Ishmael loops back to the story of Pip, a young African American boy from Connecticut, whose... (full context)
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...became a “holy fool” or an “idiot,” accustomed to speaking in tongues and to prophecy. Ishmael notes that Pip will become important as the narrative continues, and that he (Ishmael), too,... (full context)
Chapter 94: A Squeeze of the Hand
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It is Ishmael’s duty to “squeeze” the oil taken from the most recent whale killed by Stubb—because the... (full context)
Chapter 95: The Cassock
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Ishmael describes the skin of the whale’s penis, or “grandissimus,” which is used by the mincer... (full context)
Chapter 96: The Try-Works
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Ishmael describes the ship’s try-works, a huge brick oven fastened between the foredeck and the main... (full context)
Chapter 97: The Lamp
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Ishmael describes how sailors on other, non-whaling ships often do not have enough oil even to... (full context)
Chapter 98: Stowing Down and Clearing Up
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Ishmael notes, in the closing of this section of the novel dealing with the ins and... (full context)
Chapter 99: The Doubloon
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In this rather strange chapter, an unnamed narrator (perhaps Ishmael, although he does not announce himself) observes as various members of the ship’s crew inspect... (full context)
Chapter 101: The Decanter
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In another aside, Ishmael discusses the hospitality he once later received on the “Sammy,” long after his time with... (full context)
Chapter 102: A Bower in the Arsacides
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In a brief and strange chapter, Ishmael states that he has had occasion to measure the exact dimensions of a whale’s skeleton,... (full context)
Chapter 103: Measurement of the Whale’s Skeleton
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Ishmael notes that the Tranque sperm whale’s skeleton measured about 72 feet in length, and that... (full context)
Chapter 104: The Fossil Whale
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Ishmael lays out some fossil evidence for the existence of whales in far-flung locales, including the... (full context)
Chapter 105: Does the Whale’s Magnitude Diminish?—Will He Perish?
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Ishmael entertains two questions in this chapter. First, he wonders if whales have increased or decreased... (full context)
Chapter 106: Ahab’s Leg
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...new one out of the remaining jaw-bone of one of the recently captured sperm whales. Ishmael reveals what he learned later about Ahab: that his unwillingness to see anyone at the... (full context)
Chapter 107: The Carpenter
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Ishmael introduces the ship’s carpenter to the reader by saying that he was a man of... (full context)
Chapter 110: Queequeg in His Coffin
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Ishmael doubts that it is possible for a man to decide he is finished being sick,... (full context)
Chapter 111: The Pacific
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The Pequod passes the Bashee isles and heads into the Pacific Ocean, which Ishmael remarks upon for its calm and “serenity.” Ishmael notes that Ahab stands looking out at... (full context)
Chapter 112: The Blacksmith
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...regarding Perth, the ship’s blacksmith. Perth’s life has been mostly a story of “ruin,” as Ishmael puts it: Perth lost feeling in both feet owing to frostbite, during a snowstorm; and... (full context)
Chapter 114: The Gilder
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In this peaceful chapter, Ishmael describes the calms of the ocean off Japan, where local whaling boats go after smaller... (full context)
Chapter 116: The Dying Whale
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Ishmael reports that the good luck of the Bachelor appeared to rub off on the Pequod,... (full context)
Chapter 125: The Log and Line
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Ishmael observes that, when the quadrant was working, Ahab did not feel it necessary to use... (full context)
Chapter 130: The Hat
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Ishmael states that the crew has become silent, awaiting the final encounter with Moby Dick. Fedallah... (full context)
Chapter 131: The Pequod Meets the Delight
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Ishmael states that it is ironic the Pequod should encounter a ship called Delight that is... (full context)
Chapter 133: The Chase. – First Day
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...and Flask also take out whaleboats, and each rows in furious pursuit of Moby Dick. Ishmael says that Moby Dick appeared so beautiful as to resemble a god from Greek myth... (full context)
Chapter 135: The Chase. – Third Day
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...hammering to attach a flag to the spar at the top of the mast. And Ishmael notes that, before Tashtego goes down with the ship, he hammers into a bird which... (full context)
Epilogue
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Ishmael writes, in the Epilogue, that all this could be reported because “one did survive the... (full context)