Moby Dick Captain Ahab Quotes

Decent Essays

Herman Melville, in his renowned novel Moby-Dick, presents the tale of the determined and insanely stubborn Captain Ahab as he leads his crew, the men of the Pequod, in revenge against the white whale. A crew mixed in age and origin, and a young, logical narrator named Ishmael sail with Ahab. Cut off from the rest of society, Ahab attempts to make justice for his personal loss of a leg to Moby Dick on a previous voyage, and fights against the injustice he perceived in the overwhelming forces that surround him. Melville uses a series of gams, social interactions or simple exchanges of information between whaling ships at sea, in order to more clearly present man’s situation as he faces an existence whose meaning he cannot fully grasp. …show more content…

Gabriel warns Ahab that if he keeps pursuing the white whale his end will come. Ahab refuses to listen because he is selfish and is too determined to seek his revenge that he will risk his life and his crews life so he can kill the creature of the deep. Similar to Ahab, the Samuel Enderbys’ captain has donated a limb to Moby-Dick, but unlike the Pequod’s leader, the Englishman wants to keep away from the White Whale, arguing, “ain’t one limb enough? What should I do without this other arm? … He’s best left alone” (368). The one-armed captain, head of a ship named for a wealthy British merchants, describes his experience to the one-legged monomaniac, who is overly excited, but the Englishman does not approach the experience as a spiritual battle like Ahab. Interrupting the captain, Ahab exclaims his highlights of his effect on the whale, claiming credit for the harpoons and scars decorating that wild beast. The Samuel Enderby’s captain continues “good-humoredly” (365). The Englishman did not know that he had lost his arm to the Moby-Dick for some time after the attack, but when he found out the identity of his opponent, he forfeited two chances to repeat his attempt at capturing oil from the White Whale. To the Englishman’s sage like attitude, Moby-Dick was nothing more than a remarkably profitable catch, while to

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