The, The Whiteness Of The Whale

1818 Words8 Pages
Throughout his novel, Moby Dick, Herman Melville will often devote entire chapters to the thoughts and actions of specific characters. Two specific examples of this type of chapter are Chapter 36, The Quarter-Deck, and Chapter 42, The Whiteness of the Whale. The first of these chapters depicts Ahab addressing his crew for the first time in order to convince them to hunt down Moby Dick. The second offers insight to the fear that is brought upon by the mere mention of Moby Dick The significance and effectiveness of each of these chapters are enhanced by Melville’s use of rhetoric and style respectively. In Chapter 36, Ahab finally chooses to reveal the true purpose of this whaling voyage: To hunt down and kill Moby Dick. He does so through a grandiose speech in which he rallies almost the entire crew to his cause through a number of persuasive techniques. Ahab begins his speech by asking the crew a few basic questions about whaling. These questions lay out the basic purpose of this voyage: To hunt whales. In doing so, Ahab is laying the groundwork to convince the crew to hunt down a very specific whale: Moby Dick. In addition, the call-and-response used in this portion of the speech unifies and excites the crew, thereby making them more open to what Ahab is about to say. Immediately following this, Ahab reveals his desire to kill the White Whale and offers an ounce of gold to the first man to spot it. This use of bribery piques the interest of the crew and offers an
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