Moby-Dick Questions Chs. 47-51: How do you interpret the comparative disappearance

How do you interpret the comparative disappearance of Queequeg in Ishmael’s narrative, given their intimacy at the beginning of the book?  How does Ishmael and Queequeg’s relationship relate to the mat?  Does Ishmael believe in necessity, free will, or chance?  What happens to his “ball of free will”?  If “necessity” means what is unchangeable, “free will” what we can choose, and “chance” what is unexpected, then how do these three things relate to Ahab, the crew, and Moby Dick?  Who are the “five dusky phantoms”?  (p. 235 [180])  What do they look like and how do you interpret their relationship with Ahab?  Does ch. 48 affect your understanding of the crew?  What do you make of Ishmael’s description of Flask atop Daggoo? (p. 240 [184])  In the “Hyena,” how does Ishmael respond to his encounter with death?  How would you compare Ishmael’s musings on fate and free will with those of Ahab at the end of ch. 37?  What’s your response to Fedallah?  Why was he a stowaway?

Asked on 02.06.2017 in English Literature.
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