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An overview of the moby dick story by herman melville

In the port of New Bedford, he stays at the Spouter Inn. He is at first frightened by Queequeg, his tattooed, tomahawk-toting bedmate, who has been out selling shrunken heads. The next day, Queequeg and Ishmael set out for Nantucket where they sign onto a whaler. On the ferry ride to the island, a young man mocks Queequeg.

Later, this same young man falls overboard and is saved by Queequeg. The heathen Queequeg must prove his skill as a harpooner before he is accepted. In the mist, they see four or five shadowy figures go aboard.

The ship sets sail on Christmas day.

Moby Dick Summary

The chief mate, Starbuck, chooses Queequeg for his harpooneer; the second mate, Stubb, chooses the Indian, Tashtego; and the third mate, Flask, chooses the African, Daggoo. Several days after the ship sets sail, Ahab finally appears on deck. His appearance sends shivers through Ishmael. A white scar runs from his hairline, over his face, and down his neck beneath his clothing. He stands upon an artificial leg made of whale bone.

Ahab calls all men on deck. He hammers a gold doubloon to the mast and tells the men that the first to spot Moby Dick, the white whale, will win the coin. Ahab admits that it was Moby Dick that took off his leg.

  1. Not more than a few paragraphs feature them.
  2. During a storm, Ahab holds the harpoon above his head and it is struck by lightning.
  3. At last, Moby Dick is sighted by Ahab.

When the first whale is sighted and the boats are lowered, the sailors are surprised to see Ahab in his own boat with a mysterious crew who had been hidden below deck. The exotic Fedallah is his harpooner. A squall comes up during the chase. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope, the ship has its first of many gams, or meetings with other ships.

  • Several days after the ship sets sail, Ahab finally appears on deck;
  • He easily explains the world of whaling to us, but we learn very few facts about his past;
  • Not more than a few paragraphs feature them;
  • The exotic Fedallah is his harpooner;
  • He hammers a gold doubloon to the mast and tells the men that the first to spot Moby Dick, the white whale, will win the coin;
  • During a storm, Ahab holds the harpoon above his head and it is struck by lightning.

Several of the ships have lost men to the whale. The young son of the captain is in that boat, but Ahab refuses to join the search. Starbuck confronts Ahab and tries to convince him to abandon his mission to get his revenge on Moby Dick.

  • Shannon 5th September 2010;
  • When the first whale is sighted and the boats are lowered, the sailors are surprised to see Ahab in his own boat with a mysterious crew who had been hidden below deck;
  • Several of the ships have lost men to the whale.

While Stubb eats his whale steak, Fleece, the cook, delivers a sermon to the sharks. During the cleaning of another whale, Tashtego falls into the tun, the forehead of the whale containing the spermaceti.

When the head breaks loose from the ship and falls into the water, Tashtego is rescued by Queegueg. Pip, the timid black boy, is temporarily abandoned in the sea during another whale chase which drives him to madness.

Ahab has the blacksmith fashion a special harpoon, tempered in the blood of the heathen harpooners. During a storm, Ahab holds the harpoon above his head and it is struck by lightning.

Later, Ahab has a dream, which is interpreted by Fedallah. The Parsee predicts that he will die before Ahab, that only hemp can kill Ahab, and that before he dies, Ahab will see two hearses upon the sea. At last, Moby Dick is sighted by Ahab.

The chase lasts three days. Fedallah dies, lashed by tangled lines to the body of the great beast. Ahab thrusts his harpoon into Moby Dick, but his line runs afoul and catches him around the neck; he is pulled down to the depths. The only survivor, Ishmael, clings to this strange life buoy and is later rescued. The book could be completed in 20 to 25 hours.