Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ahab Emerges, and a Whale of a Business


Chapter 28 - Ahab
Ahab finally emerges from his cabin, and Ishmael is able to get a good look at him: a solid man, as if made of cast bronze with a white mark from the white hair on his head down his face and neck disappearing behind his clothing.  He stands with an ivory leg made with the bone of a sperm whale’s jaw.

Chapter 29 – Enter Ahab; to Him, Stubb
Stubb challenges Ahab for pacing the boards while the shipmates sleep, but Ahab calls him a dog, insulting Stubb.  Nonetheless, Stubb withdrawals and is completely incensed by Ahab’s rudeness.

Chapter 30 – The Pipe
Suddenly, Ahab realizes that smoking his pipe no longer satisfies him and he tosses it into the sea.

Chapter 31 – Queen Mab
Stubb tells of a dream he has had about Ahab kicking him with his whalebone leg, and that a merman in his dream has suggested it is an honor to be kicked by Ahab.

Chapter 32 – Cetology
A friend of mine told me to skip this chapter, and when I asked what to write in my summary, she suggested writing one word: dumb.  In greater detail, she added that it is inaccurate and non-factual and does not add to the story.  Being that I am only interested in the story, I have taken her advice.

Chapter 33 – The Specksynder
A dry chapter on the hierarchy of officers and mates and crew aboard whaling ships.

Chapter 34 – The Cabin Table
Descriptions of what it is like to eat aboard the whaling ship: the order in which the crew meet to eat, what they eat, how they eat, and in silence because Ahab forbids conversation.  Harpooners eat like animals, and are menacing to the cook.

Chapter 35 – The Mast-Head
Ishmael has his first post atop the masthead watching for whales, where sometimes it can get boring and one can get easily distracted with daydreams.   He also gives a history of the mastheads aboard whaling ships.

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