By contrast with his namesake from , who is banished into the desert, Ishmael is wandering upon the sea. Melville uses Queequeg as a character in perpetual transition: from savagery to civilization, and in the final chapters after he suffers from an illness from which he wills himself recovered, in an uneasy stasis between life and death. The Enderby's doctor provides solid reasoning for this attitude, informing the gathering: Do you know, gentlemen, that the digestive organs of the whale are so inscrutably constructed by Divine Providence, that it is quite impossible for him to completely digest even a man's arm? The harpoon had an arrow-head shaped blade on the end, and barbs which made it stick in the whale's blubber once it was thrown, but it did not go much deeper. It is Starbuck who finally accuses Ahab of being a blasphemer, or possibly even an agent of Satan, and it is Starbuck who intercedes to plead for Ahab to abandon his dangerous quest. Ishmael describes him as crazy and evil personified. At one point in the novel, he meets another whaling captain who also lost a limb to the whale Moby-Dick.
Starbuck was an important Quaker family name on , and there were several actual whalemen of this period named , as evidenced by the name of in the whaling grounds. He will pursue his own monomaniacal goal in defiance of whatever gets in his path. He alerts Ishmael to possible problems with Ahab and secrets aboard the Pequod. Starbuck is the main counterpoint to Ahab. The two men meet at an inn in New Bedford, Massachusetts, en route to Nantucket and the whale boats there. By the end of the novel, the tormented philosopher-captain Ahab takes Pip under his dark wing as a surrogate child.
He can be seen as the polar opposite of Ahab. While Moby-Dick flopped during Melville's life, it has gone on to be his most well-known novel and one of the most famous novels of American literature in general. His job is to describe everything around him — in particular, the conflicts. I made the junior feel his place Subserve the senior, love him too; And soothe he does, and that is his saving grace But me the meek one never can serve, Hot he, he lacks quality keen, To make the mother through the soon, An envied dame of power a social queen. Starbuck advocates continuing the more mundane pursuit of whales for their oil. He is prominent early in the novel, but later fades in significance, as does Ishmael.
However, he is a practical man as well, a man who lives in the real world and who executes his duties with skill and competence. The two meet under awkward circumstances. Indeed, as far as we know, Ishmael never even speaks to Ahab directly. Although it is not investigated in detail, this kind of friendship is also somewhat true of the crew of the Pequod, which is a microcosm of life from various cultures. Queequeg is the harpooneer on Starbuck's boat, where Ishmael is also an oarsman. At the age of twenty one he signed up for a four year voyage on a whaling ship. It is easy to see why.
The biblical Ishmael was protected by God and enjoyed life as a powerful patriarch. Learned but also experienced, he is an example of someone whose trials have led him toward God rather than bitterness or revenge. He is a composite of elements of African, Polynesian, Islamic, Christian, and Native American cultures. He predicts that any attempt to hunt Moby Dick will result in disaster, and in fact the Jeroboam has experienced nothing but horror since its failed attempt to hunt the whale. Moby Dick … turns around and heads for the Pequod at full speed. He eventually banishes the one person, Pip, who begins to get close to him.
Queequeg is best friends with Ishmael in the story. Ahab senses that Starbuck's light is as strong as his own darkness, and the two men function as inverse parallels. Ahab is almost a flat character in many ways — we only see him as an intimidating leader with one drive, the killing of the whale. He agonizes over the loneliness of the sea even as he celebrates its loveliness, and longs for human companionship even as his obsessions distance him from all others. The name Ishmael could be seen as an allusion to the character from the Old Testament.
How to Write a Research Paper on Character Analysis in Moby Dick This page is designed to show you how to write a research project on the topic you see to the left. Pip has a minimal role in the beginning of the narrative but becomes important when he goes insane after being left to drift alone in the sea for some time. Moby Dick is a story of the adventures a person named Ishmael. Ahab was veteran sailor, a man that had a heart of stone. This was usually a fairly long and bloody and cruel process, and it was extremely dangerous for the whalers, as well. While Ishmael describes his duties on ship and the sights he sees during the Pequod's journey in great detail, he never seems to participate directly in the novel's main plot: Ahab's tormented search for Moby Dick.
Pippin He is a young black man and a member of the Pequod crew who replaces one of Stubb's oarsman but becomes incredibly frightened while lowering after a whale and jumps from the boat. His significance lies with his assertion that the white whale does not, in fact, exist. When God asks him to submit to God's will, Jonah attempts to flee from god. The first time out, Pip jumps from the boat, causing Stubb and Tashtego to lose their already-harpooned whale. Reprinted in Herman Melville, Moby-Dick. After all, Captain Ahab is a man devoted to revenge, madness, and evil, all of which are considered the qualities of the devil. Such careers do not begin at a hat shop.