Moby-Dick Questions Chs. 105-115: Why does Ishmael “account the whale immortal in his species
Why does Ishmael “account the whale immortal in his species, however perishable in his individuality”? (p. 503-504 ) How do you interpret Ahab’s ivory limb “having been so violently displace,” that it “all but pierced his groin”? (p. 505 ). Why is the carpenter different from the other crew members and why does Ishmael say that he is “no duplicate”? In ch. 108, why does the structure turn again to a stage play? In ch. 109, why does Ahab level a loaded gun at Starbuck? How does their clash contrast with what happened on the Town-Ho? Why won’t Ahab stop to fix a leak, and what induces him to change his mind? Why does Queequeg get sick and how does Pip figure in his sickness? Contrast Ishmael’s and Ahab’s perceptions of Queequeg at the end of ch. 110. In the last paragraph of ch. 110, Ishmael compares Queequeg to a “riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read.” (p. 524 [366-367]) What does he mean by this? How do Ishmael’s ruminations on death in ch. 112, pp. 528-529 [369-370] compare with those at the opening of the novel? How do you interpret the making of the harpoons in ch. 113? What does the Bachelor have in common with the Pequod and how is it different? Compare this meeting with the Pequod’s first meeting with the Albatross. How do you interpret the captain of the Bachelor’s good humor in relation to him say that he lost “two islanders,” “not enough to speak of”? (p. 538 ) What is the symbolic significance of Ahab’s final action with the “small vial of sand” on p. 538 ?