Moby-Dick Questions Chs. 24-31: What brief does Ishmael make for the profession of whaling
What brief does Ishmael make for the profession of whaling? How does he characterize the profession? How do you interpret Ishmael’s statement: “For what are the comprehensible terrors of man compared with the interlinked terrors and wonders of God!” (119 ) Why is the whale-ship Ishmael’s “Yale College and my Harvard.” (122 ) How are Starbuck, Stubb, Flask, Tashtego, and Daggoo described and characterized (age, personal qualities, religion, place of origin)? What is Starbuck’s flaw? (125-126 [102-103]) What does Ishmael mean by “democratic dignity” and what is its source? (126 ) How does Ishmael’s reference to Andrew Jackson relate to “democratic dignity”? How do you interpret Stubb’s pipe and why is it “a sort of disinfecting agent?” (129 ) Where are the owners, leaders, and the crew of the Pequod from and what kind of society is it? (pp. 131-132 [106-107]) What is an Isolato? (131 ) Where do the people with the greatest killing skills come from? What is your response to the first appearance of Ahab? Exactly how is he described? What does Ishmael think of him? How does Ishmael’s description of Ahab relate to Elijah’s? How do you compare Stubb’s pipe with Ahab’s pipe; and given what Ishmael says about Stubb’s pipe, how do you interpret Ahab’s tossing his own pipe into the ocean? How do you interpret Stubb’s dream in ch. 31?