through to the end. Melville has introduced his conflicts and
themes. Ishmael has become transcendental in his
Continue to note how the literal is a springboard to
the abstract or elevated. Reality is a mask for the illusion.
Chapters 87 - 109
Almost every chapter is elevated. The chapters that impress me
are 88 and 89. With which ones do you especially relate? In other chapters we
gain further insight into the characters and personalities of both Ahab and
Starbuck. In this section Little Pip crosses the line into irrationality, and Ahab becomes his protector.
110 - 130
Events become darkly ominous. Queequeg lies in his
coffin. Note the imagery in 112, The Blacksmith, and 113, The
The Pequod Meets the Rachel, 128, is a final reflection on Ahab's
monomania. Rachel is a Biblical allusion. Check the meaning on the Allusion List.
131 - Epilogue
Do you think the ending fanciful, totally not really
possible? Actually, the possibility and reality of it happening in
this way is told in tales of whalers and in their folk songs. Listen to
a folk song based on a true story written in the 1840s by a sailor named
Scammon. Tommy Makem sings.
The story of the sinking of the whale ship, Essex, as
recorded by First Mate Owen Chase in 1821 was a gripping tale read by
many, including a young Herman Melville. You can order a reprint of the original text with maps and
a facsimile of Melville's notes on Chase's book, Shipwreck of the Whaleship 'Essex'.