Sunday, February 28, 2016

Moby Dick Ch. 64: Stubb’s Supper

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.

After Stubb had killed the whale, several sailors began the slow, laborious process of lugging the giant creature to the boat, and lashing him to the side.  Captain Ahab watched over these proceedings with a hint of disappointment, for this whale was not Moby Dick: “Some vague dissatisfaction, or impatience, or despair, seeming working in him; as if the sight of that dead body reminded him that Moby Dick was yet to be slain; and though a thousand other where brought to his ship, all that would not one jot advance his grand, monomaniac object.”

Stubb, on the other hand, was elated by his kill, mainly because it meant he could eat a tasty whale steak, his favorite food.  And so the cook Fleece prepared Stubb a whale steak, while below the ship sharks feasted on the body of the dead whale.  Stubb had a somewhat humorous interaction with the cook, criticizing his grilling skills.

Stubb asked Fleece to tell the sharks to be quiet so he could enjoy his supper.  Fleece gave a humorously absurd sort of “sermon” to the sharks, telling them to be quieter and more polite.  Of course, the sharks did not heed his sermon, because they were sharks.


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