Moby-Dick Questions Chs. 64-70: What is Ahab’s attitude toward the successful whale
What is Ahab’s attitude toward the successful whale kill in ch. 64? We have already seen how Ishmael breaks down such binary oppositions as cannibal and Christian, or slave and free; how does he relate humans and sea creatures in his descriptions of Stubb’s supper and the sea-fight? How does Stubb relate to the sharks? What roles do class and race play in Stubb’s dining, and how do you interpret Fleece’s sermon to the sharks in paragraph 23. You might also compare Fleece’s sermon with the two other sermon’s you’ve read so far: Father Mapple’s and that in the black church. In ch. 65 how does cannibalism relate to humans and whales? In ch. 68, what does Ishmael mean when he says: “it is pleasant to read about whales through their own spectacles, as you may say.” (p. 333 ) Does he “read” whales this way? What does Ishmael mean when he refers to the hieroglyphics on a sperm whale? How does Ishmael regard ghosts and “orthodoxy” at the end of ch. 69? Does he believe in them? How do you interpret Ahab soliloquy to the sperm whale’s head in ch. 70, paragraph 7. Closely analyze this paragraph and the last paragraph of ch. 70. In Acts 27, a ship carrying St. Paul is lost among contrary winds, and Paul tells his captors that an angel has informed him to have faith in God and they will land safely. A wind subsequently blows them to shore. What does Ahab mean by St. Paul’s “breeze”? What is Ahab’s “breezelesness”? In this last paragraph of ch. 70, is Ahab contemplating what lies behind the “pasteboard mask” that he refers to in ch. 36?