Thursday, December 31, 2015

Moby Dick Ch. 34: The Cabin-Table

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.

This chapter presents a humorous dinnertime scene: Ahab and his three mates eat together silently, solemnly: “Over his ivory-inlaid table, Ahab presided like a mute, maned sea-lion.”  Because of the captain’s “awful silence,” the three mates are terrified to speak.

By contrast, the three harpooneers eat loudly and hungrily, terrorizing the cook/steward, whom they call Dough-Boy.  Like the three mates are scared of Ahab, so Dough-Boy is scared of the harpooneers.  Meilville writes, “Dough Boy’s whole life was one continual lip-quiver.”

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