Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Moby Dick Ch. 31: Queen Mab

The following is from a work-in-progress called "Moby Dick: a Book Report" in which I read each chapter of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, and write about what I read.

The morning after Stubb’s harsh encounter with Ahab, the second mate tells Flask about a strange dream he had in which Ahab kicked him with his whale-bone leg.  Foolishly, Stubb kicked back, but found that it was like kicking a pyramid.  Ahab was immoveable.  Then, in the dream, Stubb was taken into the ocean by a scary merman.  The title of the chapter, Queen Mab, is a tiny mythical creature who was believed to fly into sleeping peoples' noses and give them dreams.

Flask says that Stubb should consider it an honor to be kicked by Ahab, “a great man.”  The two mates are interrupted by the loud voice of Ahab: “Mast-head, there!  Look sharp, all of ye!  There are whales hereabouts!  If ye see a white one, split yer lungs for him!”  And here we get the first hint of Ahab’s true purpose: to capture a white whale.  Stubb says, “Ahab has that that’s bloody on his mind.”

Queen Mab driving her chariot into a sleeping man's nose.

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