Sunday, February 28, 2010

Me v. Moby: Part Six

8:51 p.m. “Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and spiritual exasperations.”

Oh, I get it. Moby Dick is like his city editor.

9:20 p.m. Ahab hates Moby Dick because he chewed off his leg. Ishmael hates him because he’s white. And we call Ahab crazy?

9:31 p.m. “What trances of torments does that man endure who is consumed with one unachieved revengeful desire. He sleeps with clenched hands; and wakes with his own bloody nails in his palms.”

No commentary. Just like the quote.

9:39 p.m. An important shift occurred about 60 pages ago, and I didn’t notice. Melville focused on themes of faith and prejudice for the first quarter of Moby Dick; and the story featured the odd couple of Ishmael and Quee.

Now, Quee has almost disappeared from the plot. Ishmael only appeared to explain why he dislikes the color white. The focal character is Captain Ahab and the primary theme is obsession.

Honestly, I preferred the story when it focused on Ishmael and Quee. Ahab’s story isn’t worse than Ishmael’s. Melville saves his best writing for Ahab’s tirades; but the concepts of faith and friendship interest me more than obsession.

Once again, I’m not implying that Melville should have written the Ishmael and Queequeg Show. It’s just a matter of preference.

I need sleep. I’ll see you in the morning. Thank you for reading.

-Jason Lea,

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