Moby-Dick Questions Ch. 52-53: These are the first two of nine meetings with other ships
These are the first two of nine meetings with other ships. What is their function? Do they help structure the narrative? Look at these meetings carefully; among common themes are: documentary on whale hunting; meditations on the nature of the whale; Ishmael’s continuing to explore the meaning of things; Starbuck’s relationship to Ahab (sometimes rendered indirectly); whether Moby Dick is evil or a dumb brute, agent or principal.
What is the significance of the name, “Albatross”? For those who have read Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” how might it serve as an intertext? Where is this ship from and what condition is it in? What omens occur? What are the two ways in which Ishmael says a voyage can end at the end of ch. 52? What are the purposes of a gam and what function does it serve? What sort of tone has come over the book?