Moby-Dick Questions Chs. 82-86: What is the purpose of placing “The Honor and Glory of Whaling”

What is the purpose of placing “The Honor and Glory of Whaling” right after the ugly incident with the Jungfrau and the old whale?  How does Ishmael compare and contrast the spiritual and material values of whaling?  How would you relate the historical Jonah, as told by Ishmael in ch. 83, with the Jonah in Father Mapple’s sermon?  At the start of ch. 85, how long have they been at sea?  Compare Ishmael’s attitude toward religion and heaven at the beginning of the book (see, for instance, the top half of p. 42 [45], end of ch. 7), with those in the last paragraph in ch. 85.  Has his views changed?  If so, how?  In the whale’s mist and the rainbow, how is the spiritual visible in the material?  What is the relationship between “real strength” or power and beauty on p. 411 [294] of ch. 86?  How does this relate to the relationship between power and beauty existing in society?  When the whale is peaking, his tail points straight up and his head points down; what does Ishmael say about the meaning of this and what it depends upon?  How is the final paragraph of ch. 86 relevant to Ishmael’s attempts to understand the whale?


Asked on 02.06.2017 in English Literature.
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