Analysis Of The First Lowering In Moby Dick

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In Herman Melville’s novel, Moby-Dick, Ishmael, the narrator, goes on a whaling voyage where he learns the values of life and makes amazing friends through the process. Although he also experiences dangerous expeditions on the ship, and first one that was introduced was in chapter 48, “The First Lowering”. In this chapter, the whole crew goes out on their first whaling expedition where they encountered a heavy storm which resulted in the readers finding out more about Stubb, Flask, and Starbuck’s personality and leadership skills. The chapter also brought some racist views where the crew gossiped about the shadow men that snuck on the ship and how they are above those men in rank and status. Overall, Ishmael reveals more information to the readers in this chapter than the others and has given them an introduction to the dangers of a whaling voyage. “The First Lowering” is one of the most important and dangerous chapters in the book because Ishmael enhances the reader’s knowledge about the lives of the sailors and gives them a glimpse of his racial views as well. Within the “First Lowering”, Ishmael highlights Starbuck, Flask, and Stubb’s leadership skills in their first hunt, and how their techniques differ. On Ishmael’s boat, the readers see how Starbuck runs his ship, which is through calm voices and encouraging words. This is elucidated when Melville says, “ ‘Pull, pull, my good boys,’ said Starbuck, in the lowest possible but intensest concentrated whisper to his men”.

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