He has dire warnings about the future of the voyage, all of which come true. Ahab lost his leg to Moby Dick. There are numerous other characters, but these are the ones with the most thematic significance. By contrast with his namesake from , who is banished into the desert, Ishmael is wandering upon the sea. His new artificial leg is made from the bone of whale and once again adds to his intimidating form. Ahab is the main focus of Moby Dick. Nevertheless, Melville does give his narrator several significant character traits, the most important of which is his idealization of the Sperm Whale and his belief in its majesty.
Steelkit: Steelkit, one of the sailors of the Town-Ho. Charismatic and cruel, he lost his leg from the knee down to Moby Dick in a previous encounter and has dedicated his energies to seeking revenge, outfitting the Pequod with a special crew and increasingly ignoring both economic and social norms in favor of his obsession. Nevertheless, Pip loses his sanity from the event. He is a Quaker who believes that Christianity offers a way to interpret the world around him, although he is not dogmatic or pushy about his beliefs. The captain of the whaling ship Pequod,. Elijah: A sort of bum prophet that Ishmael and Queequeg meet before getting aboard the Pequod.
Captain Peleg: A stiffly religious man, a Quaker. His character is unknown, but he holds himself apart from the other men when Ishmael first sees him. 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. Queequeg was once a prince from a South Sea island who stowed away on a whaling ship in search of adventure. Ishmaels character gives the reader someone to relate to and identify with. Queequeg is actually the son of a High Chief who left New Zealand because of his desire to learn among Christians.
As a character he is a few years younger than as a narrator. For this ship would be commanded by a half-crazed captain in a desperate search for a viscous white whale. Queequeg: The friendly cannibal Ishmael first meets in the city of New Bedford; they become fast and good friends, despite Queequeg's less than Christian background. Ahab is a dour, imposing man who frightens his crew through his unwavering obsession with defeating Moby Dick and his grand hubris. Melville's Use of the Bible. Ishmael is a man who seeks what is best described as inner peace. Since there were thirty states in the union at the time, it has been suggested that, in its diversity, the Pequod to be a metaphor for American ship of state.
Ahab - The egomaniacal captain of the Pequod. Unlike the rest of the crew, he is not taken in with Ahab's quest, and is continually trying to get the old man to turn home. Melville undoubtedly intended Pip to be a comment on slavery and race relations at the time, but Pip also serves to humanize Ahab, who even in the throes of his insanity is kind to the young man. Although this is not on the ship's agenda, the Pequod pursues a Right Whale because of the good omens associated with having the head of a Sperm Whale and a head of a Right Whale on a ship. Fedallah dies during the second day of the chase against Moby Dick, when he becomes entangled in the whale line.
Ishmael interrupts his narration to tell a story that was told to him by the crew of the Town-Ho, just as he would tell it to a circle of Spanish friends after his journey on the Pequod. The struggle against Moby Dick lasts three days. He declares himself a god, mirroring the idolatry of his Old Testament namesake. Queequeg is best friends with Ishmael in the story. Melville describes him in mostly alien terms: Ahab is a spectral figure haunting Stubb's dreams and existing in a place away from the living. Melville portrays Starbuck as both a strong believer in human fallibility and an idealist who believes that these failings may be contained.
He is killed when trying to harpoon Moby Dick. GradeSaver, 18 June 2001 Web. First mate of the ship, Starbuck is intelligent, outspoken, capable, and deeply religious. Perth is one of the few characters whose previous life is described in much detail: his life ashore has been ruined by alcoholism. After Moby Dick sinks the Pequod, the Rachel rescues Ishmael, the only survivor. Melville introduces the rest of the crew, including the Indian harpooner , the African harpooner.
A soul's a sort of a fifth wheel to a wagon. Melville : His World and Work. For he never means to swallow a single limb; he only thinks to terrify by feints. Fleece: The Pequod's cook, who delivers a humorous sermon to sharks about not eating so loudly. When Pippin Pip does the same thing again, Stubb remains true to his word and Pip only survives because a nearby boat saves him. Queequeg is an extremely noble, decent man, with an almost child-like wonder at the world; he is willing to put his life in jeopardy to save anyone. Peleg - A well-to-do retired whaleman of Nantucket and a Quaker.
However, the whale carcass begins to sink as the Pequod attempts to secure it and thus the Pequod must abandon it. Ahab later sympathizes with Pip and takes the young boy under his wing. Derick De Deer The captain of the German ship Jungfrau, he begs the Pequod for oil and then engages in a competition with the Pequod for a Sperm Whale. Ishmael signs up for a voyage on the whaler , under Captain Ahab. The whale turned on the whaleboats and destroyed one, prefiguring what is about to happen to the Pequod's boats. In Nantucket, Queequeg and Ishmael choose between three ships for a year journey, and decide upon the Pequod.
Queequeg becomes ill from fever and seems to approach death, so he asks for a canoe to serve as a coffin. In 16:11-12, the most significant verses for Melville's allegory, Hagar was cast off after the birth of , who inherited the covenant of the Lord instead of his older half-brother. He does almost nothing important in the book — except to survive the sinking of the Pequod. He also receives destruction at the hands of his obsession, being tangled up and drowned in the harpoon lines attached to the great white whale. He is a tall man with gray hair, and is missing a leg due to a death-defying confrontation with Moby-Dick himself. Bunger The surgeon on the Samuel Enderby, a British ship, he warns Ahab that Moby Dick would be best left alone and wonders whether Ahab is in fact insane. He is an avenging presence, unable to be killed by human hands, and very likely immortal.