Analysis Of The Book ' Moby Dick Starts '

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As the story of Moby Dick starts, Ishmael our narrator immediately establishes a direct relationship with the reader through the famous line, “call me Ishmael.” And as the story begins to unfold, the opening chapters paint us an image of who Ishmael is: a stoic young man, full of sadness, and consumed by wanderlust. Yet this information only scratches the surface of who our character truly is and the question can still be asked, “Who really is this character that is asking us to refer to him by his first name?” By doing a close reading of chapter 68 The Blanket, we are given examples of how Ishmael thinks about and views his surroundings, which help give us insight to who he really is. Ishmael is more than just a friendly narrator, but rather a very deep and perceptive character. A philosophical esque question is asked at the beginning of this chapter by Ishmael, “What and where is the skin of the whale?” (Melville 274) Ask anyone where the skin of an animal is that is in front of him or her and they would simply point downward to where the animal is, exclaiming, “right there on top.” But Ishmael wants to know everything about the whale. He wants to know about every layer and marking on the beast. In chapter 68 Ishmael talks about the skin of the whale, calling it a blanket, “for the whale is indeed wrapt up in his blubber as in a real blanket.” (Melville 276) And as the chapter continues, several details lace there way throughout concerning how thick the whales
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