The title character is a giant, largely but not completely white bull sperm whale and arguably the main antagonist of the novel. Eventually, even Starbuck acquiesces. They sliced open his trunk and took out his heart. The mystery grows on Christmas morning when Ishmael spots dark figures in the mist, apparently boarding the Pequod shortly before it sets sail. Ishmael, the only surviving crewmember of the Pequod , is the narrator of the book, but not the main protagonist. The chief mate, Starbuck, is a sincere Quaker and fine leader.
The True-Life Horror That Inspired Moby-Dick
They're like having in-class notes for every discussion! The Rachel , a ship encountered late in the book, is searching for the lost son of the captain, and eventually saves Ishmael — also a lost son, after a fashion — when the Pequod is wrecked. His dying speech is particularly memorable. Read an in-depth analysis of Stubb. A soul's a sort of a fifth wheel to a wagon.
The True-Life Horror That Inspired Moby-Dick | History | Smithsonian
As the ship's navigator, he guides the ship by the stars. Also a common source of Homage or Whole Plot Reference stories, which are a trope of their own. While some characters only appear in the shore-chapters at the beginning of the book, and others are captains and crewmembers of other ships, the majority of the characters are crewmembers of the Pequod. Chase and the remaining crew had been reduced to savages, ironically more than any Pacific islander they had sought to avoid. The Cook Fleece , Blacksmith Perth , and Carpenter of the ship are each highlighted in at least one chapter near the end of the book. Given the sperm whale's aggressive nature it is left ambiguous whether Moby Dick is attacking ships out of self-preservation or just for no reason at all.
But after their passing, both Ahab and Moby-Dick ended up as ghosts, living together forever on the Phantom Prison Planet. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Boomer is stunned at the abruptness of his departure, and asks one of the crew whether Ahab is crazy. Create an account to start this course today. We must remain humble about our powers to make sense of the universe.