Analysis Of The Book ' Moby Dick ' And ' The Whiteness Of The Whale '

2051 Words Sep 21st, 2016 9 Pages
Throughout his novel, Moby Dick, Herman Melville constantly changes the focus of the story from chapter-to-chapter. Often, Melville will devote an entire chapter to the thoughts or actions of a specific character. Within these chapters there is typically a large speech or monologue, or the internal thoughts of a single character. Two specific examples of this type of chapter are Chapter 36 “The Quarter-deck” and Chapter 42 “The Whiteness of the Whale.” Each of these chapters are extremely significant and meaningful even outside their advancement of the plot. The first is evidence of Captain Ahab’s powerful persuasive abilities and their effects on his crew, while the second provides Ishmael with a platform to describe his own academic insight into Moby Dick. In Chapter 36 of the novel, Ahab finally chooses to reveal the true purpose of this whaling voyage: To hunt down and kill the white whale. He does so through a grandiose speech in which he rallies almost the entire crew to his cause through a number of persuasive techniques. Ahab begins his speech by asking the crew basic questions about whaling, such as: “What do ye do when ye see a whale?”, “And what do ye do next?”, and “And what tune is it ye pull to, men?” (180). These questions helped to unify the crew under their common interest of whaling and resulted in a “hearty animation” (180). This is Ahab’s first step in convincing his crew to hunt the White Whale. By unifying and exciting the crew, they will become more…

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